February 3, 2010


Posted in Book Reviews, Picture Books at 3:59 am by catsinboxes

I have read this book aloud numerous times.  Tonight, as I read it, Jonathan leaned forward, listening and looking at the pictures.  There’s something about the story, coupled with Pinkney’s illustrations, that captures a child’s  imagination.

In short, it is the story of a young mongoose and his fight to protect the family he lives with from the cobras, Nag and Nagaina, who live in the garden.

I, the reader, never tire of trying new voices: trying to make Nag and Nagaina sound as cold, evil, and ssss-snakelike as posssssible.  Then there’s the sing-song voice of Darzee, the not-quite-bright-tailorbird, “Rikki-Tikki, you’re not going to eat her eggs?”  Thankfully, he’s married to a very sensible wife.

My only quibble with Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations is that they don’t match the era in which the story happens.  It’s supposed to take place in Colonial India, but Teddy’s mother’s hair and clothes are very contemporary looking.  Still, they are lovely illustrations, and Pinkney does an excellent job capturing the tropical lushness of India.

Someday I’ll read Kipling’s unabridged story of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.  I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I haven’t yet.  But, until then, I’m perfectly happy reading again …and again …and again. …

“This is the story of the great war that Rikki-tikki-tavi fought, all by himself, through the English family’s house in India. …”

1 Comment »

  1. Kristen said,

    I remember that book as a read aloud in 1st grade. The kindergarten teacher would read it aloud to the kinder-2nd graders. It was a favorite for the whole group!!!!

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