KALI AND THE RAT SNAKE by Zai Whitaker

KALI AND THE RAT SNAKE

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In contemporary Southern India, an Irula boy named Kali experiences trouble fitting in at his school. He feels that the other children make fun of him in spite of his good marks and quick intelligence. When a rat-catcher snake threatens the safety of the children and the teacher, he whips into action using the techniques taught to him by his father, a well-known snake hunter in the region. He wins the admiration of all, and, in a pat reversal of fortune, is now deemed a hero and a friend. The more successful charcoal drawings are interspersed with energetic, yet unattractive watercolors. Kali’s face is shown in a particularly grotesque fashion to emphasize his “otherness.” There is no background on the Irula people and few readers will understand the cultural context of this slight story, but they will recognize the loneliness of the outsider in a classroom situation. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-933605-10-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Kane/Miller
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2006