'The Room of Colours: A Treasury of Stories for Children' is a collection of stories written by Ruskin Bond. Originally known as 'A Treasury of Stories for Children', the book has been rejacketed and added 2 new stories at the end. In the book, there are a variety of stories which follow through different emotions. It also has many characters which travel from grandparents to children and even crows!
Many stories in the book relate to Ruskin Bond's life. And that is evident from the no. of stories that he forms from the same topic. Some stories feel you with happiness while some fill you with tears, however, Ruskin is successful in planting both of them in the reader's mind.
What I like about the story:
- Ruskin Bond is a unique storyteller and he has proven yet again that in this book. With a style that captures the reader, his storytelling techniques are incredible.
- The life and behaviour of children, especially British-Indian children during olden times are well understood.
- The illustrations in the book are well crafted and pleases the reader.
- The transportation system and especially the ratio between tongas and taxis in India during the time the story happens is well explained.
- The feeling of unwillingness at having a brother or a half-brother when known, is a true feeling.
- The family structure at the residence of a RAF officer in India is accurately represented.
- The author has managed to represent his character in each story quite well. A child, a man, or a crow all show their independent perspectives.
What I don't like about the story:
- Many stories in the book are very similar. For example, many of the stories share the same value, as of love for animals or liking towards fathers. Some stories have the same outline as what happened to Ruskin Bond's father and some share the same characters as Aunt Mabel.
- Some people like Grandfather are always given the same character. Grandfather is always a person who loves animals. It would have been great if the author gave different personalities to characters in stories.
- In Pg.82, the author has not made it clear why the character named Anil was not able to make friends.
- From the first paragraph in Pg.82, one can intepret that the main character, Anil's home was far away from his school. However, the author classifies the school as 'local' which brings confusion to my mind.
- In the story, 'Four boys on a Glacier', the author mentions a boy in the story who comes along with Ruskin, Anil and Somi. However, it is almost at the end, at Pg.114, that the author suddenly introduces a character called Bisnu, which I guess is the boy talked about at the beginning. This brings a light of confusion among readers, who are getting exposed suddenly to the name of the boy.
- In 'Upon an Old Wall Dreaming', Ruskin concludes the story by telling that he misintepreted a motorist to be Aunt Muriel. However, thinking, we struggle to find the reason why Ruskin calls a motorist 'Aunt Muriel' purposely.
Though there were many a times confused while reading this book, it was a pleasurful read. And it is an accurate representation of Ruskin Bond's unique storytelling technique. And his feelings are also evident here. From reading it, I can relate a thing or two of the story to Ruskin Bond's own life. The book has also made sure as to not include any philosophical aspects as it's a colection of stories for children. I would suggest reading this book if you like a collection of stories that could be read at any time leisurely, at a slow pace. With it's creative illustrations, and equally creative storytelling, this book is well a read if you like Ruskin Bond's style of writing.