Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

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Overview

When a young Indian mongoose is rescued and befriended by a small boy and his parents, he begins a new life-and-death struggle to protect his newly adopted family from the deadly cobras that live in the gardens surrounding the family's home-cobras that want the people to leave...forever.

A courageous mongoose thwarts the evil plans of Nag and Nagaina, two big black cobras who live in the garden.

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Overview

When a young Indian mongoose is rescued and befriended by a small boy and his parents, he begins a new life-and-death struggle to protect his newly adopted family from the deadly cobras that live in the gardens surrounding the family's home-cobras that want the people to leave...forever.

A courageous mongoose thwarts the evil plans of Nag and Nagaina, two big black cobras who live in the garden.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a starred review, PW praised Pinkney's smooth retelling and lush illustration of one of Kipling's best-loved animal tales: "Full-bodied watercolors showcase visually thrilling confrontations [while] portraits are warm without being sappy." Ages 3-8. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pinkney (The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories) applies his considerable talents to the smooth retelling and lush illustration of one of Kipling's best-loved animal tales. An English family living in India can hardly foresee their good fortune when a scraggly-looking mongoose literally washes up on their doorstep. But Rikki-tikki-tavi (so named for the clucking sounds he makes) becomes champion protector of garden and household as he courageously defends his new human friends from the dangerous snakes living on the grounds. Kipling's exotic animal world comes to life in the voices of Rikki-tikki and other talkative creatures, and Pinkney carefully structures his descriptive passages to present well-rounded animal characters. The hissing, threat-filled dialogue of wicked cobras Nag and Nagaina and Darzee the bird's excited calls of warning perfectly express their respective personalities. Even pacing allows the excitement to build gradually and rewards readers with several adrenaline-rush payoffs within the story. Full-bodied watercolors showcase visually thrilling confrontations between Rikki-tikki and his slithering enemies, while portraits of Rikki-tikki snuggling with the family are warm without being sappy. A captivating work. All ages. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi's valiant struggle against two scheming cobras is presented with Pinkney's stunning, sun-dappled watercolors. All of the animals depicted, from the mongoose of the title to the scolding tailorbird, are drawn realistically but remain imbued with individual personalities. In his afterword, Pinkney shares that this tale is one of his childhood favorites. This edition will undoubtedly fill that magic niche for a new generation of children.
Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book is among the most beloved of children's books. Included within is this story of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the mongoose. Washed away from his home as a young animal, Rikki-Tikki ends up, half dead, in the garden of Teddy's home. He and Teddy became fast friends. Rikki-Tikki was a very curious animal, and welcomed the opportunity to explore Teddy's house and grounds. It didn't take him long to discover that there were two cobras terrorizing the garden. Soon the battle lines are drawn, and Rikki-Tikki eventually became a great hero. All of the "Candlewick Treasures" series are beautifully illustrated. Each edition is unique. These paintings are reminiscent of Persian miniatures.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4In this glorious picture book, Pinkney's accessible retelling and dramatic watercolors plunge readers into the lush garden Rikki rules and the life of the family he comes to guard. The large pictures (often spreading across much of a facing page) can barely contain the mongoose's energy as his lithe body twists and turns, evading and attacking the cobras and the brown snake, curling in young Teddy's arms, and basking in the family's adulation. Pinkney's humans are not idealized, and Rikki, while eminently pettable, is not anthropomorphized. The subdued natural colors of the animals contrast with the garden's riot. The splash of a yellow squash blossom; Teddy's crimson shirt; a scarlet hibiscus; or the burnished head of Darzee, the tailor bird, add grace notes to the shimmering pages. This great story has been given the loving treatment it deserves.Patricia Lothrop-Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Carolyn Phelan
Drawn from Kipling's Jungle Books, this story concerns a young mongoose "rather like a cat in his fur and his tail, but quite like a weasel in his head and his habits" who comes to live in the bungalow and garden of an English family in India. Challenging and overcoming the poisonous snakes who live in the garden, he saves a boy's life, earning the gratitude of the family and other local animals. Davis, who illustrated Buffett's "The Jolly Mon" and Hamilton's "The Bells of Christmas" , provides a series of softly shaded, full-color, narrative paintings, set within wide, creamy borders, that face the text pages. Just as recent picture books have brought the "Just So Stories" to a new generation of children, this lovely edition has the inimitable language and visual appeal to intrigue a somewhat older group of readers or listeners.
Kirkus Reviews
Pinkney dwells on this story of Rikki-tikki-tavi, the sensible, brave mongoose adopted by an English family living in India. The animals speak to each other, so readers know how the little mongoose is aided by the tailorbird, Darzee, and and his wife in escaping death from the menacing cobras who hope to kill the human family and raise their 25 hatchlings in an empty house. Excitement and danger ebb and flow throughout the illustrations for this classic story. The people are drawn with less vitality than the creatures, yet the stances and concerns of the human parents echo those of the animals for their children. Exotic flora borders garden baths; a few details—an antique inkwell—exemplify the period; yet the true strength of the large watercolors is in the framing of deadly fighting and impending attacks. Pinkney puts his heart into a story he loves, and makes it live again.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824965976
  • Publisher: Worthy Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Rudyard Kipling(1865-1936), recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907, was an English novelist, short-story writer, and poet. His sweeping tales of adventure, including Kim, Captains Courageous, and The jungle Book, won him wide popularity during his lifetime and have been beloved by generations.

Jerry Pinkney is the illustrator of more than a hundred books for children. A five-time winner of both the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award, he has been recognized with numerous other honors, taught illustration and conducted workshops at universities across the country, and created art for the United States Postal Service's Black Heritage stamps. Books Mr. Pinkney has illustrated include The Ugly Duckling, John Henry, The Nightingale, and Noah's Ark. The father of four grown children, he lives and works in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, in a nineteenth-century carriage house with his wife, author Gloria Jean.

In His Own Words...

"I grew up in a small house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was a middle child of six. I started drawing as far back as I can remember, at the age of four or five. My brothers drew, and I guess in a way I was mimicking them. I found I enjoyed the act of putting marks on paper. It gave me a way of creating my own space and quiet time, as well as a way of expressing myself. You can imagine six children competing for attention and to be heard. I would sit, watching and drawing.

"In first grade I had the opportunity to draw a large picture of a fire engine on the blackboard. I was complimented and encouraged to draw more. The attention felt good, and I wanted more. I was not a terrific reader or adept speller in my growing-up years, and I felt insecure in those areas. Drawing helped me build my self-esteem and feel good about myself, and, with hard work, I graduated from elementary school with honors.

"I attended an all-black elementary school, and I gained a strong sense of self and an appreciation of my own culture there. But Roosevelt Junior High was integrated. There I had many friends, both white and black, at a time when there was little mixing socially in school. There the spark for my curiosity about people was lit. You can see this interest and fascination with people of different cultures throughout my work.

"My formal art training started at Dobbins Vocational High School, and upon graduation I received a scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. My major was advertising and design. The most exciting classes for me were drawing, painting, and printmaking. It is no wonder I turned to illustrating and designing books. For me the book represents the ultimate in graphics: first, as a designer, considering space, page size, number of pages, and type size; then, as an illustrator, dealing with the aesthetics of line, color, and form.

"There were three books that somehow magically came into my possession in the early sixties: The Wind in the Wows, illustrated by Arthur Rackham; The Wonder Clock, illustrated by Howard Pyle; and Rain Makes Applesauce, illustrated by Marvin Bileck. You can see those influences in my art today. Later, my work was greatly influenced by such African American artists as Charles White, Romare Bearden, and Jacob Lawrence.

"From the very beginning of my career in illustrating books, research has been important. I do as much as possible on a given subject, so that I live the experience and have a vision of the people and places. To capture a sense of realism for characters in my work, I use models that resemble the people I want to portray. My wife, Gloria Jean (also an author), and I keep a closetful of old clothes to dress up the models, and I have the models act out the story. Photos are taken to aid me in better understanding body language and facial expressions. Once I have that photo in front of me I have freedom, because the more you know, the more you can be inventive.

"For illustrating stories about animals, I keep a large reference file of over a hundred books on nature and animals. The first step in envisioning a creature is for me to pretend to be that particular animal. I think about its size and the sounds it makes, how it moves (slowly or quickly), and where it lives. I try to capture the feeling of the creature, as well as its true-to-life characteristics. There are times when the stories call for the animals to be anthropomorphic, and I've used photographs of myself posing as the animal characters.

"It still amazes me how much the projects I have illustrated have given back to me in terms of personal and artistic satisfaction. They have given me the opportunity to use my imagination, to draw, to paint, to travel through the voices of the characters in the stories, and, above all else, to touch children."

Jerry Pinkney is the illustrator of more than a hundred books for children. A five-time winner of both the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award, he has been recognized with numerous other honors, taught illustration and conducted workshops at universities across the country, and created art for the United States Postal Service's Black Heritage stamps. Books Mr. Pinkney has illustrated include The Ugly Duckling, John Henry, The Nightingale, and Noah's Ark. The father of four grown children, he lives and works in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, in a nineteenth-century carriage house with his wife, author Gloria Jean.

In His Own Words...

"I grew up in a small house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was a middle child of six. I started drawing as far back as I can remember, at the age of four or five. My brothers drew, and I guess in a way I was mimicking them. I found I enjoyed the act of putting marks on paper. It gave me a way of creating my own space and quiet time, as well as a way of expressing myself. You can imagine six children competing for attention and to be heard. I would sit, watching and drawing.

"In first grade I had the opportunity to draw a large picture of a fire engine on the blackboard. I was complimented and encouraged to draw more. The attention felt good, and I wanted more. I was not a terrific reader or adept speller in my growing-up years, and I felt insecure in those areas. Drawing helped me build my self-esteem and feel good about myself, and, with hard work, I graduated from elementary school with honors.

"I attended an all-black elementary school, and I gained a strong sense of self and an appreciation of my own culture there. But Roosevelt Junior High was integrated. There I had many friends, both white and black, at a time when there was little mixing socially in school. There the spark for my curiosity about people was lit. You can see this interest and fascination with people of different cultures throughout my work.

"My formal art training started at Dobbins Vocational High School, and upon graduation I received a scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. My major was advertising and design. The most exciting classes for me were drawing, painting, and printmaking. It is no wonder I turned to illustrating and designing books. For me the book represents the ultimate in graphics: first, as a designer, considering space, page size, number of pages, and type size; then, as an illustrator, dealing with the aesthetics of line, color, and form.

"There were three books that somehow magically came into my possession in the early sixties: The Wind in the Wows, illustrated by Arthur Rackham; The Wonder Clock, illustrated by Howard Pyle; and Rain Makes Applesauce, illustrated by Marvin Bileck. You can see those influences in my art today. Later, my work was greatly influenced by such African American artists as Charles White, Romare Bearden, and Jacob Lawrence.

"From the very beginning of my career in illustrating books, research has been important. I do as much as possible on a given subject, so that I live the experience and have a vision of the people and places. To capture a sense of realism for characters in my work, I use models that resemble the people I want to portray. My wife, Gloria Jean (also an author), and I keep a closetful of old clothes to dress up the models, and I have the models act out the story. Photos are taken to aid me in better understanding body language and facial expressions. Once I have that photo in front of me I have freedom, because the more you know, the more you can be inventive.

"For illustrating stories about animals, I keep a large reference file of over a hundred books on nature and animals. The first step in envisioning a creature is for me to pretend to be that particular animal. I think about its size and the sounds it makes, how it moves (slowly or quickly), and where it lives. I try to capture the feeling of the creature, as well as its true-to-life characteristics. There are times when the stories call for the animals to be anthropomorphic, and I've used photographs of myself posing as the animal characters.

"It still amazes me how much the projects I have illustrated have given back to me in terms of personal and artistic satisfaction. They have given me the opportunity to use my imagination, to draw, to paint, to travel through the voices of the characters in the stories, and, above all else, to touch children."

Read More Show Less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2008

    Rikki-Tikki Tavi

    Rikki pounces on Nag and kills him, and everyone is safe, for now. This is a great story about the friendly little mongoose who came to his new home and immediately was a blessing to his new family. He saved Teddy from the deadly dust snake, and then saved his father from Nag. This made the deadly cobras¿ mate, Nagiana, even more dangerous. I would recommend this book as a great adventure story for anyone who enjoys action mixed with a little information about another country and the animals who live there. I enjoyed the suspense, like when Nagiana dragged Rikki-Tikki into her hole while they were fighting, and everyone thought that she had killed him. I liked the way the animals reacted like people would, like when the birds sang very sad songs when they thought he was dead, but sang and flew happily when Rikki came back out of the hole with the dead cobra in his mouth. This was a very interesting story for both young and older readers. I would recommend it especially if you like animals.

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