Into the Book


Rikki Tikki Tavi - Rudyard Kipling

Before the days of television and internet, children still needed ways to be occupied. (Imagine being a babysitter without the instant availability of YouTube or Disney channel to keep the kids busy!) In a world with none of these modern conveniences, children turned to books as a primary source of entertainment. Rudyard Kipling's Rikki Tikki Tavi is the essence of children's literature: an action packed story filled with adventures and heroics. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a lovable, loyal mongoose whose main occupation is to protect his beloved humans from the evils of the garden. Rikki-Tikki was adopted by the family as a young mongoose, and he is kept in the house to protect their young boy from the dangers of the rural Indian landscape- namely, the King Cobra. Nat and Nagaina, the cobra couple that rules the garden, are quite upset with the a arrival of the mongoose, a threat to their territory. And so, Kipling's short novel is the story of how Rikki-Tikki-Tavi single-handedly defeats these evil snakes and brings peace to the garden.

The novel is very short, only about fifty pages, but is a captivating story nonetheless. It is truly children's literature, with all the greatness of a novel packed in a simple language that even young children will understand. Being a story mostly about the "war" between Rikki-Tikki and the cobras, there is quite a lot of action in the book that some children may find frightening (violence is comparable to The Jungle Book, the movie based off of Kipling's works). Parental discretion is advised; however, I highly recommend this book for children as well as adults. It is a captivating story with lovable characters, a fascinating plot, and a smidgen of poetry to boot. I do not hesitate to say that Rikki Tikki Tavi is children's literature at its finest.

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Alisha Hange started on ItB in December of 2013. She is studying Elementary Education and hopes to spend her life teaching. She loves children's books, magic, and beauty. She is also a poet.

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