The Jungle Book Family Activity Guide

          April 5th, 2016

          Welcome!  We are thrilled that you have decided to bring your family to Carousel Theatre for Young People!  We hope the activities and resources on this page will be helpful to you before and after your adventure to the theatre.

          An Interview with Director Kayla Dunbar

          Director Kayla Dunbar sat down with Education Manager Jessica Gutteridge to talk about The Jungle Book and her exciting ideas for a contemporary staging. Read the interview to learn more about what you will see in the production!

          It’s important to understand that this isn’t the Disney animated version of the story. Ours is darker, and the animals are not always as friendly. In this story, the stakes are very high . . . This show will raise a lot of questions about fitting in and belonging. The script doesn’t shy away from these questions. I think children see these sorts of stakes literally, emotionally, as well as figuratively in their own lives.

          Playing Animals

          In our production of The Jungle Book, the action takes place on a playground that becomes the jungle. The schoolyard characters like The Bully, The Followers, and The Outsider become jungle animals such as Shere Khan the tiger, the Monkeys, and Mowgli the human child. Some of the actors will wear masks to help them look more like the animals they become.

          Is your family or circle of friends like a group of animals in a jungle? Maybe you’re more like a ship full of pirates, a castle filled with brave knights, or denizens of the deep. Once you’ve decided where you are and who’s who, create a mask to show your character


          The Gibberish Game

          When Mowgli arrives at the human village, he is frustrated by his inability to communicate with the humans he meets because they do not know each other’s language. Imagine you speak a different language from the people you are trying to talk to. How can you communicate when you don’t speak the same language?

          This is a fun game to play even around the dinner table. In this game, everyone gets to take a turn attempting to communicate a sentence without using spoken language (sounds may be used as long as they are not recognizable words). Make a stack of cards containing phrases such as the following:

          • I have a toothache.
          • I like your new haircut.
          • Where is the exit?
          • May I take your order?
          • My feet hurt.
          • I can’t find my shoes.
          • Does the train stop here?
          • We’re going to be late!
          • This food is spoiled.
          • Do you have a pen?
          • Leave me alone!
          • Have you seen my dog?

          Each person will have a turn taking a card and attempting to communicate the sentence to everyone else without using recognizable words. Once the group has guessed the meaning of what’s being communicated, the next person gets a turn. If more than a minute or two goes by and the meaning has not been guessed, you can reveal the answer and let the next person have a turn.

          HINT: If you have a spare copy of the board game “Mad Gab” kicking around, you can use a few cards from the box instead of writing your own.

          Suggested Books for Further Reading

          The Jungle Book continues to enchant us many generations after it first appeared over a century ago. Interested in reading more tales of India, feral children, or jungle adventure? Look for some of these recommended titles at your public library. Kindly Supplied by the Children’s Library of the Vancouver Public Library, 2015 

          Tales and folklore from India:  

          Rikki Tikki Tavi / Rudyard Kipling
          An exciting story of a courageous mongoose that thwarts the evil plans of Nag and Nagaina, two big black cobras who live in the garden.

           Just so stories / Rudyard Kipling
          How did the camel get his hump? How did the leopard get his spots? These tales are drawn from the oral storytelling traditions of India and Africa and filled with mischievously clever animals and people.

           Elephant’s Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India / Marcia Williams
          Eight folk stories from India, including The Elephant’s Friend and The Monkey and the Crocodile, accompanied by bright, engaging illustrations.

          Raised by wolves (and other creatures): 

          Wild / Emily Hughes
          The story of a little girl who has known nothing but nature from birth. Bears taught her to eat, birds to speak, foxes to play; she is unabashedly, irrefutably, irrespressibly Wild. That is, until one day she meets a new animal that looks oddly like her…

           Wild Boy: the Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron / Mary Losure
          Presents the story of the feral boy known as the Savage of Aveyron, discovered in the mountain wilderness of Southern France in the late 18th century.

          The Wolf Girls: An Unsolved Mystery from History / Jane Yolen
          A young aspiring detective narrates the known facts of an unsolved historical mystery–the discovery in a forest in India of two girls said to have been raised by wolves.

          Recommended Read Alouds:

          Journey to the River Sea / Eva Ibbotson
          Maia is very unhappy to be staying with distant relatives hundreds of miles up the Amazon. She becomes friends with a mysterious English boy who lives with the local Indians. But when they are forced to flee upriver, they are pursued by some very eccentric characters.

           The Mysterious Howling / Maryrose Wood
          Fifteen-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley is hired as governess to three young children who have been raised by wolves and must teach them to behave in a civilized manner quickly, in preparation for a Christmas ball. 

          Running Wild / Michael Morpurgo
          When 10-year-old Will’s father dies in the Iraq war, his mother surprises him with a trip to Indonesia. But little could she have known what awaited them both there.

          Some Works of Rudyard Kipling

          Short Story Collections
          Plain Tales from the Hills
          The Phantom ‘Rickshaw & Other Eerie Tales
          Wee Willie Winkie & Other Child Stories
          The Jungle Book
          The Second Jungle Book
          Just So Stories
          Puck of Pook’s Hill 

          The Light that Failed
          The Story of the Gadsbys
          Captains Courageous
          The Naulahka: A Story of West and East

          Departmental Ditties
          Gunga Din

          From Sea to Sea
          A History of England

          If your children would like to tell us what they thought of the show, please mail us letters and pictures – we love to receive mail! For our contact information please visit the last page of this guide.

          If you have any questions or suggestions, please give us a call at 604.669.3410 or email us at

          © Carousel Theatre for Young People 2013 | Website by the idea lounge and rare design