As ‘The Jungle Book hit the screens, publishers root for the book

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New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) With the highly-anticipated movie “The Jungle Book” hitting the screens on Friday, it will be a trip down the memory lane for its fans with new editions of the classic adding to the frenzy.

With Rupa Publications and Penguin Random House bringing out new editions of Rudyard Kipling’s iconic work, readers can revisit the timeless classic once again.

While there’s a lot of buzz around Disney’s fantasy adventure for its star-studded cast and music, publishers feel that the hype will result in a spike of the book’s sales as well.

The story of Mowgli, who is raised by wolves in an Indian jungle with the help of Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther, has always captured the imagination of readers since the time its written by Kipling in 1894. Since then,countless books and TV adaptions have come about.

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Rupa, who brought out a new edition of the book in collaboration with beverage brand Paper Boat, says that it is a classic tale passed down through generations.

Though Rupa already has two editions of the classic, they were only too happy to associate with Paper Boat in bringing out the new edition, said Dibakar Ghosh, the executive editor of the publishing firm.

“Ever since the book was copyright free, lots of new editions have come out and we have two editions of it. We created ‘The Jungle Book’ as a special edition for Paper Boat,” said Ghosh. The new edition has a forward by author Ruskin Bond and with additional illustrations by Prabha Mallya.

“Mowgli, jungle boy, wolf boy, friend and companion of wild creatures with whom he grew up is now a part of every young reader’s literary experience,” Bond writes.

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“Today, everybody remembers Kipling the creator of Mowgli, Bagheera, Kaa, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Kala Nag and Little Toomai,” adds Bond.

“The release of the book ahead of the movie will definitely benefit its sales and we hope it will rekindle interest in young readers,” Ghosh said.

A rare first edition of “The Jungle Book” with a poignant handwritten note by Kipling to his young daughter was discovered at the National Trust’s Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire in 2010. Kipling wrote the book for his daughter who passed away at a young age.

However, for Paper Boat, the idea of bringing out a new edition of book happened way before Disney planned the movie. It was a part of its initiative to reproduce classics in collaboration with Rupa.

“We are a bunch of avid readers and the idea of reproducing classics happened while we thought of expanding our office library,” said Parvesh Debuka, Head, Marketing, Paper Boat at Hector Beverages.

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The first project was reprinting the classic ‘Three Men In A Boat’ last year, this year, the decision on “The Jungle Book” was unanimous, Debuka said.

“We all loved the classic and my memories go back to watching ‘The Jungle Book’ on TV and gobbling up aloo parantha,” he said, adding that the whole team is planning to watch the movie on the day of release.

Penguin Random House released “The Jungle Book” last month as part of its tie-up with Disney to publish their books in India.

Happy watching!

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