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Rikki-Tikki-Tavi Hardcover – Picture Book, September 26, 1997
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
- Publisher : Morrow Junior Books (September 26, 1997)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 48 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0688143202
- ISBN-13 : 978-0688143206
- Reading age : 4 - 8 years
- Lexile measure : AD810L
- Grade level : Kindergarten - 3
- Item Weight : 1.09 pounds
- Dimensions : 9.52 x 0.44 x 11.42 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #48,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Rudyard Kipling won a Nobel Prize for Literature.
This ought to be a match made in heaven. Except the illustrator took upon himself to "improve" the story. Or something. Which one do you think should be writing the TEXT of a famous short story? Right. Leave well enough alone, Mr. Pinkney. Stick to illustrating (which you are excellent at).
The story is abridged and simplified but it isn't actually much more accessible to young readers. It's a little shorter (but how much difference will that make?) and some big words are removed . . . but not all. I guess we need to wait for some future edition (hopefully) which will restore the WHOLE text with these brilliant illustrations.
When I saw this book recently, on a list of free books, I grabbed it up so I could carry this little piece around with me all the time. I was kind of afraid to actually read the story, because so often these days books and their movies don't have much in common. However, this is word for word the animated story I have enjoyed so many times; or should I say the animated film is just like the book. The language is lyrical, and there is a rhythm to the story that reinforces this quality. If I had a child, since they don't show the film any more, this would be a regular on the bedtime story list, and not just for the language. The themes of making the best of what happens to you in life, and of protecting your family, are woven throughout this story, as well as using common sense when planning anything you have to do. I'm going to grab The Jungle Book next!
This isn't Mogadishu or Mumbai, this is a mongoose who is the guest of a human family protecting his humans from a pair of cobras. In the drains, bathrooms, and garden of humans who rescued him when he was a half-drowned kit, Rikki stalks and is stalked by Nag and Nagina as they prepare for their clutch of eggs to hatch. With the help a pair of tailor birds and a cowardly muskrat, Rikki defeats the cobras and protects his family.
A heroic and inspiring tale suitable for every child, even if the parents are too effete to cope with a to-the-death fight against an enemy that threatens everything Rikki loves.
Yes, I enjoyed it immensely, if that was not obvious.
E. M. Van Court
Have I mentioned I love short stories? This specific one by Rudyard Kipling was actually in “The Jungle Book” initially but has earned its place as one of the best short stories in all of literature. I think any short story that can take a people from one culture to another and unify them in the understanding of mongoose versus snake is remarkable. I picked this up on Kindle and mostly because I loved this story ever since I was seven years old. I still remember the cartoon.
My initial impressions of this story had to do with just how much better it is than the cartoon in my nostalgia laiden mind. This story is essential for many reasons for me, it is about family, loyalty, and keeping people, you love safe. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a very loyal mongoose you see.
Critiques time and I’m happy to report there are none here for my usual categories involving structure and such. The one that remains is “Whole Story,” and that is because this story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Rikki-Tiki starts a dialog with someone, and it’s not left in its full ending but dropped. That’s a bit of an annoyance, especially to such a short story. The rest of the tale is well done, you do get a beginning middle and ending to the conflict, but that problem with the last part is it leaves the reader believing more is coming, and there isn’t anything else.
So now let’s go into what I loved about this story. Firstly, it’s well written. Rikki-Tikki has a full arch for such a small mongoose, and he grows in understanding and knowledge. He also faces some serious challenges. He has to learn how to acclimate to his humans, and he has to learn how to work with those in the garden.
Next, I did not see any issue with the text. The grammar, margins, spacing, and structure of the story as far as punctuation looked good to me. If you follow my reviews, you know just what a stickler I am about pointing out what I see, and I didn’t see any errors or problems. That said, I did see other Amazon reviews that said the Kindle copy has text issues, etc. I can happily say that on my end, I did not see it on the day I read and reviewed the story. So, those might have been earlier issues, but as of this month, at least the copy looks good.
Another thing I enjoy is the fact that Rikki Tikki isn’t someone who just nails being a mongoose on the first try. He’s not the Tom Brady of mongoosary. He has to work at learning what his purpose is. He fails in a broad sense almost right away, and he nearly fails a second time with another adversary. Moreover, yet, Rikki Tikki works on improving himself and observing. That final bit with Nag where he’s learning what to watch for, it’s done with purpose and planning. I have to admire how Rikki is written in this way. It’s the kind of lesson you can give to your kids about patience and planning work better than rushing into things.
Lastly, this is a beautiful story for the family, but also has elements that are just for adults and items that are just for children. The character of Nag, for example, he can be a lesson piece to children about what greed and mismanagement of plans will lead to. He also can be someone as an adult; we can realize we may or may not want to be like when it comes to business or dealing with others. Nag and his wife had wiped out nearly every frog in the garden, and had caused havoc and had the nerve to want to kill everyone in the house. While yes we should try to work on improving our situations, striking out at others and harming those around you, will win you no friends. Rikki had friends because he worked with everyone in the garden. Nag and his wife, however, we're stuck.
So what do I give this legendary short story that has so much worth and purpose? A lovely 94/100 is the score according to the math! Pick this up on Amazon the next time you want to read about impressive literary figures or want a short story to tide over your morning.
Top reviews from other countries
I purchased this one for my daughter yet read it first, she lives in a different age, with different authors, whereas I came from an age where this sort of book was read to you in excerpts (if you were really lucky) in school assembly ..a time when reading out loud to children was prominent within schooling, ...& boy did we love it, ..fed our book habits & helped those non readers along with knowledge & hopefully a desire to pick up a book now & again.
It stands the test of time, much like the jungle book! ...don't doubt it, just download it & re-live a great story well told. (a great one to follow up with for a child if you have had them reading the jungle book prior to this, coming from the same era & area it should be easy for a child to latch onto).
The plot is everything and the background is whatever suits each reader. The story is so exciting that I always wanted to know what happened next and I could see the action clearly because the description is so perfect.
I loved this book, it was written more than 100 years before I was born and I was right there with Rikki-Tikki-Tavi killing the snake.
Daddy read this to me and I insisted on dictating a review.
Missed some important bits like being swept away in a stream, and the krait snake, and the corals coming in though the bathroom source.I u