Saturday, February 3, 2007

Rudyard Kipling, Illustrator

I was trying to think of what classic story I would want to illustrate. Two that came to mind were McBroom's Zoo, which I love but surely couldn't improve upon Walter Lorraine's work, and The Jungle Book, which my wife just got me as an audio book. I realized I hadn't seen what the original illustrations looked like, so I did a little search and was surprised to see that Kipling illustrated the original book himself, just as Dr. Dolittle was illustrated by author Hugh Lofting. I managed to find one really neat woodcut of Kipling's, seen above. So it's always good to realize that there is not such a great chasm between authors and illustrators.


  1. This illo is actually from Kipling's "Just So Stories" where he tells stories about the origin of animals or their characteristic parts. There's "How the Camel Got His Hump" (humph!), "How the Leopard Got His Spots", "How the Whale got his Throat", etc. This particular image is from "The Elephant's Child" (a.k.a. "How the Elephant got his Trunk"), told down by the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees. I love Kipling's language!

    It's a great collection of stories, O Best Beloved. You should check them out.

  2. Thanks for the correction! I'm going to see if I can find a copy of the book that has the original illustrations in it.