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Ruskin Bond’s skills as a writer of children’s stories are evident in a number of ways in his tale titled “An Island of Trees. Among those skills are the following:
- The language of the story is simple, plain, and straightforward – the kind of language that would make the story very accessible to young readers. Consider, for example, the opening paragraph:
Koki and her grandmother were sitting on a string cot in the shade of an old jackfruit tree, and Grandmother was talking about her father and his great love for trees and flowers.
- As the paragraph just quoted suggests, the story focuses on young people’s relations with family members. Since the most important people in the lives of most young persons are family members, the story immediately seems relevant to the lives of most of its intended readers.
- The second paragraph, about the creeping plant, creates a sense of mystery likely to appeal to young readers.
- The story’s emphasis on nature – including both plants and animals – is likely to appeal to young readers, especially since nature is often treated as something mysterious and enchanting. Adults might find this kind of depiction of nature naïve, but young people are likely to find it intriguing.
- The story deals, to a great degree, with the history of a child’s family – a topic in which many children are likely to be interested.
- The story emphasizes a great deal of dialogue, making it easier for young people to read and far more likely to sustain their interest than would be the case if the story emphasized long, unbroken passages of philosophical prose.
- The story deals with fantastic elements, as in the reference to walking trees and demons casting spells. Adult readers are unlikely to take such passages seriously, but young readers may find such passages imaginative and fascinating.
- The story emphasizes close relations between children and parents – the kinds of relations likely to be most attractive and consoling to children.
- The story ends on a positive note, with a sense of resolution; it does not end, as some stories for adults do, with a dark, depressing tone or on a note of irresolution.
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