Kali And The Rat Snake


Kali trudges to school every day.

It’s been two months since school started but Kali doesn’t have even a single friend. While Ramu’s father is a bus conductor and Selvi’s father, a postman, Kali’s father is a snake catcher, as are several other members of the Irula tribe.

Kali’s classmates think this is strange and weird. Besides, Kali is their teacher’s pet. How will he ever make friends?

Awards won: This book won the Best of Indian Children’s Writing (BICW) Award in 2018 for the theme Heroism for the age 7-9 yrs.

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SKU: 9788186895436 Category:


Kali doesn’t want to go to school. He ambles along at his slowest pace.

He is an Irula child; part of a community that has traditionally been snake-catchers. His classmates think he’s strange.

Kali doesn’t have a single friend although it’s been two months since the school began. He wishes he was normal like the others; an ordinary boy with an ordinary bus conductor/postman-father.

While everyone takes a bite of their idlis or biscuits, Kali sits alone and munches his snack wishing no one will spot him eating his favourite food – fried termites! To make things worse, he is a bright student and his teachers always appreciate him. Kali knows that no one will want to befriend the teacher’s pet.

He loses hope of making any friends and wishes he could stop coming to school, until an unexpected visitor drops by his class one day: a big, black rat snake!

Kali’s forest-filled world comes alive through the delightful and detailed watercolors by Srividya Natarajan. Zai Whitaker tells Kali’s story, evoking empathy in children to understand different identities and cultures.

Trivia: Zai Whitaker has worked, spoken, and written extensively for wildlife conservation and welfare of indigenous people. She is also one of the directors of Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society.

Additional Information

Weight 80 g
Dimensions 27.3 × 21.6 × 1.3 cm


Number of Pages


Recommended Age

Award(s) won


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