The pulpy jungle-girl novel The Jungle Twins (1961) by E. Leslie Caswell is a more graphic and light-hearted account of the lives of two sisters, Inara and Alethia, who grow up in the jungles of Muesum Island. The two girls are both fearless and strong, though Alethia is a little more of a tomboy than Inara. Like other jungle girls, they are almost always barefoot, with Inara frequently wearing the shawl that her people use to '''bless''' the ocelots and other wildlife. The girls never wear shoes, and they wear nothing but breechcloths in the summer. Their favorite food is fresh coconut. They are often called '''jungle girls''' despite the fact that they live in the suburban area of Muesum Island, and even spend some time at school. They are engaged to be married to two white boys, and they have a pet ocelot named Kestrel (after the falcon of the bird of prey). The girls learn to speak Latin, although their language is only understood by their family and the other inhabitants of the island.
The Jungle Twins was followed by The Jungle Twins at Large, a collection of short stories published by Berkley Books and illustrated by Jerry Robinson (including a cover drawing by Jerry Robinson for the book's first issue), which featured Inara and Alethia in a series of non-adventure stories. One of the stories, 'The Jungle Twins and the Island,' was adapted as a segment of the syndicated television show Captain Kangaroo in 1972, with Inara and Alethia and their ocelot Kestrel playing themselves, though the story was narrated by actor and 'Captain Kangaroo' host Bob Keeshan.
The Jungle Twins in their adventures are often aided by the animals of the jungle, such as Tia the tree frog and the ocelot Kestrel. Their adventures revolve around the search for the treasure of the island, the treasure that is stolen from the museum of the island. The twins and their best friends, two white boys, are pursued by a strange jungle creature known as the 'jungle man', who is seeking to take the treasure and the jungle girls who stole it from him.
Though they are often clad in vests, leotards, capri pants, or capes, or even nothing, as in certain Hercules and Robin Hood comic books of the 1960s, and Jungle Girl (1983), the character is usually depicted as wearing little more than a loincloth.
This series is noteworthy for the stunning art by Fernando Blanco. The art is well-cobbled, and while it does a good job translating Inara's character onto the page, the art shows the humor and fun of Inara's life. Inara's struggles and emotional growth are never painful or sad, but rather filled with humor. Blanco's work is extraordinary as the artist brings Inara's character to life with his fluid and strong line work. Blanco's use of light and shade captures the beauty of the jungle and Inara's jungle girl, and her appearance and mannerisms are truly well-crafted. Blanco is one of the most accomplished artists working today, and this is his best work yet. Bravo! 827ec27edc