From Publishers Weekly
With this newly illustrated edition of the treasured classic--written in the 1890s as part of the Jungle Books --readers can once again be captivated by the tale of a mongoose who is taken in by a family of British colonials living in India. Although a few Victorianisms in the text will need to be explained to young readers, the story has held up remarkably well over a century's time. Rikki's fight to defend his family from the menacing cobras Nag and Nagaina remains as suspenseful and emotive as ever. The creatures of the Indian garden come truly alive in Kipling's expert prose--the birds sing out messages of joy and warning; the cobra rears and spreads his sinister hood; the brave mongoose leaps and springs, victorious at last. In Davis's ( The Jolly Mon ; Trouble Dolls ) acrylic paintings, dominated by the greens of the garden and the browns of the earth, readers can clearly see the nut-colored mongoose, his adoptive family in their period dress and the slithering snakes. However, the artist's style and chosen medium produce a somewhat flat, torpid appearance. Razor-sharp writing with rather dull artistic accompaniment. Ages 6-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4. In 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,
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.