I was going to find hilarious covers of The Jungle Books and make fun of them, but then I found a lot of really cool covers and I’d rather share those instead. I’m always fascinated by looking at a lot of covers for a single book over the course of the years because publishing trends change so much. Some publishers have really odd interpretations of characters. Some publishers don’t seem to know what the book is about. My Barnes and Noble copy is a well-made book and I’m happy to have it, but it has an extremely sulky Mowgli surrounded by grouchy old dudes, which does not really inspire me or evoke the scenes in the book.
Anyway, here are some of my favorites. Share your personal copy’s cover or others you’ve found in the comments, if you wish!
These two are my favorites of the “giant and threateningly ambiguous faces” trend. I don’t know if the face on the left is an Ent or some other mystical tree person but I haven’t met any character like this in the book yet. On the right, Stylistic Shere Khan is here for your stylistic lunch money.
These two are my favorites of the covers directed at young children who like reading about animals trying to kill each other. So adorable. On the left, Mowgli and Baloo are going on safe, cuddly BFF jungle adventures! On the right, Bagheera and Kaa are possibly about to make out, but Mowgli has The Best hair.
These two are my favorite from the “Keep it simple, Steve! SIMPLE! SIMPLE, DAMMIT!” trend. I mean, the one on the left looks like another cover for The Giving Tree (spoiler the tree is tortured and then dies) but they’re both soothing to the eyes.
I shouldn’t like these as much as I do but they look like awkward boy band album covers, if the boy band was made of a bear, a wolf, a panther, and a tiny ferocious man-child. Featuring their first hit single: “Jungle outLaws.”
Ok, you’re right, the cover on the left is pretty atrocious. I just love it because Shere Khan looks more like he’s draping over the cow (???? or whatever that is) in love and affection rather than tearing its throat out. It’s like he’s not even trying and the cow feels bad and is just letting him kill it. Bagheera on the cover on the right has terrifying eyes, but I like the psychedelic color palette and that it includes the wolves.
The cover on the left is my actual favorite that I’ve found so far. I like Mowgli’s mischievous little smile and how he’s disappearing into all the fur; the darker palette is tonally on point for the book. The cover on the right is one of the most hilarious pieces of cover art I have ever seen and I want to hug it forever. Too good.