Cobra in my Kitchen
Zai Whitaker
Suddhasattwa Basu
age group: 
7+ yrs
Number of pages: 
nature and wildlife
short stories,


Cobra in my Kitchen is a collection of short stories, poems and prose pieces that is sure to delight any budding naturalist. Chock-full of interesting information on reptiles of all sorts – snakes, crocs, turtles and even lizards, both big and small, the book is a veritable treasure trove.

Written in a comfortable conversational style the author without lapsing into sermonizing, subtly conveys the message not only of understanding and appreciating these beautiful creatures, but also that of protecting them. She appeals to readers to overcome their irrational fears, and also to distinguish between the facts and fiction, myths and legends that surround them.

The stories are set mostly amongst the various indigenous tribes of India, the Irula, Jarawa and sensitively portray the reality of their lives, their concerns.
The only part in the book that is somewhat of a let down are the poems which are somewhat contrived.

The illustrations are simple line drawings, but they effectively succeed not only in capturing the intrinsic qualities of the reptiles but also in bringing the humour, pathos and charm of the book alive.


Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee