|Author: Ruskin Bond
Book Review By: Idhika Diwan
Are you looking for a nail biter that will keep you awake all night? Try reading Ruskin Bond’s Children’s Omnibus. The book has seven titles combined by the famous children’s author in one book only. I’ll give you a clue to my favourite story from this book. Are you ready to guess?
A girl who has something very beautiful, but, one day someone steals it. What happens next? Now bookworms, let’s go a bit deeper into this book. Now, I will give you another clue about the story, but it tells more about my favourite character. She is a girl living in the Gharwal region of the Himalayas. She has a brother and is the same girl in the clue above.
Were you able to guess? If not, let me help you. The story name is “The Blue Umbrella” and my favourite character is named Binya. She is a courageous, strong and a kind girl who saved her possession from a thief. I would not tell you more, as you might get bored if I spoil the fun.
I would rate the Children’s Omnibus with 4.5 stars out of a total of 5. Do you want to know the reason for this rating? I’ll tell you. The collection has a story called Angry River, which I recommend to everybody. This story is a misfit in this collection of relaxing and positive stories as it comes as mysterious negative story. Imagine you are eating grapes and then suddenly find a banana dangling in between the bunch!
Angry River is a story about two children- Sita and Krishan. Sita became friends with Krishan as he saved her during floods from her home island. Mumta is Sita’s doll that she lost in the flood. In the original story ending, Sita finds a toy peacock and hopes that she will love this toy as much as Mumta. Don’t’ get bored bookworms, as you can read an alternate ending to this story. If I were the author, I would have ended the story of Angry River in this manner. “Sita was sitting on the banks of the river when she heard flute music and saw a boat approaching her. She saw that Krishan had came with something in his hand. Sita cried after she realised what Krishan was holding in his hands. Indeed, it was Mumta, her old doll. Krishan handed her the doll while she handed him his old flute. Together they sat on the banks of the river, talking and watching the sunset.”
My favourite section in the Children’s Omnibus is Grandfather’s Private Zoo – collection of happenings in a home zoo. The story titled ‘The Conceited Python’ reminded me about the time when my father held a python around his neck. Grandfather thought that it is unfair to keep a python by the snake charmer- hence he bought it to eventually release in the wild.
Hope the review helps in motivating you to read Children’s Omnibus.
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