Selvakumar Knew Better
By Virginia Kroll
Illustrated by Xiaojun Li
The bright December morning dawned like any other. The Ramakrishnan family went about their daily business, but their scruffy yellow dog, Selvakumar, felt something in the air.
When a low rumbling noise began to fill the village, Papa climbed on the roof to see what was happening. What he saw was a wall of water rushing toward the shore. “Tsunami! Run!” The family scrambled to outrun the huge wave, but seven-year-old Dinakaran misunderstood. He ran toward his house, where he huddled in a corner for safety.
But Selvakumar would not let him stay there. Barking, nudging, and dragging Dinakaran by the collar, Selvakumar managed to convince him to flee from the house toward the hill. As they reached higher ground, the boy stopped to catch his breath, but Selvakumar knew better. He pushed him even higher to where Mama and Papa had fled and were waiting, worrying about their eldest son.
This true story of a courageous and clever dog who saved a boy’s life during the devastating tsunami of 2004 is sure to touch the hearts of readers of all ages. While the region is still struggling to recover from the disaster and families rebuild what they have lost, Selvakumar reminds us that with our loved ones beside us, no obstacle is too great to be overcome.
About the Creators
is the author of over 50 books for children, many of them multicultural. She loves animals and nature and is aware of the deep connection between dogs and humans. Her current companions are Daisy, a gentle, smooth-haired collie, Ying-Yang, an affectionate shih-tzu, and Bella, a spirited chihuahua. Virginia is married to David Haeick and has six children. She lives in the delightful Village of Hamburg, New York, just south of Buffalo.
is an internationally known children's book illustrator. His illustrations have won him awards from United Nations, China, Japan and United States. Born and raised in Inner Mongolia of north China, Xiaojun Li studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tianjin and the University of California Davis, he now lives with his wife and son in Davis, California.