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The Jungle Book
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Gr 3-6-- With over 20 editions in print, what would justify publishing, or purchasing, another Jungle Book ? The answer is clearly Alexander's splendid and technically ravishing watercolor illustrations. Their stylized borders and overall background patterns recall--without slavishly imitating--Indian textiles and Indian book illustrations. The stunningly vibrant hues (especially the hot pinks, oranges, and electric blues) allude to the traditional colors of India but appeal to contemporary tastes for high-voltage tints. The details are evocative but spare (their scale makes the human figures unintelligible at a distance, but the many animal portraits maintain their effect across a room). With the recent reappearance of the Disney version in video and cartoon knockoffs, this edition's fine graphic vision is doubly welcome. In these numerous vignettes per double-page depictions, India is again the rich and exotic country of Kipling's romantic creation. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle

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