Rudyard Kipling's "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi": Mixing Words and Pictures

During the Victorian Era, British author Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was both respected as a journalist and lauded as "The Poet of the [British] Empire." In his fiction, though, he blended the best of both skills and was ultimately awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 "in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas, and remarkable talent for narration which characterizes [his] creations." "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," a short story from The Jungle Book (1894), is an engaging example of Kipling's ability to mix scientific and historical fact with imaginative characterizations to create a believable and entertaining tale.

In this lesson, students will read an illustrated version of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," examine how Kipling and visual artists mix observation with imagination to create remarkable works, and follow similar principles to create a work of their own.

Guiding Questions

How does the artist create meaningful illustrations to accompany Rudyard Kipling's engaging narrative "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"?

Learning Objectives

Demonstrate comprehension of plot events and character motivations.

Describe the author's purpose and evaluate the techniques used to achieve it.

Identify and differentiate between facts and examples of personification.

Understand and apply an artist's media, techniques, and processes.