An approach to the study of Rudyard Kipling's children's books



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Rudyard Kipling's background of Calvinistic ministers, artists, and architects shaped or molded him as a writer that was both artist and preacher. When the subject matter was fresh material unexplored in previous literary periods, his short stories were exceedingly popular. The Children's Books were especially good for their times as so little of a sympathetic understanding of problems of childhood had hitherto been explored. Then, too, the Children's Books were written with ease and with less stilted craftsmanship than the adult books. Hence they were liked by all critics or at least were significantly omitted from the documents of adverse criticism. Their charm lies in beauty of word form, the singing verse and musical poetry, their answer to a childlike curiosity. Best of all they appeal to children from the fairy tale quality of "living happily ever after." The very thing which detracted from a few of the adult stories made the children's books more attractive. [...]