Ektaa Jain
Ektaa Jain
The Puffin Book of Holiday Stories: An Anthology by Ruskin Bond Penguin, 2019, 256 pp., 250
November 2019, volume 43, No 11

Stories express experiences. Experiences are lived memories. Memories, beautiful or dull, when read back, contain the power of unleashing umpteen emotions. These emotions when expressed well become stories for keeps. However, short stories are always quite tricky. While they can be entertaining and interesting to a large extent, there always exists a fear of them not being able to catch the reader’s attention within a short time-span. This is particularly true if your readers are mainly children! The Puffin Book of Holiday Stories: An Anthology runs through this difficult sword of creating and retaining interest quite successfully.

The book is a collection of fourteen short stories by renowned writers and enthusiasts like Nayanika Mahatani, Paro Anand, Ruskin Bond, Nandini Nayar, Rabindranath Tagore, Himanjali Sankar, Sudha Murty among others. Ruskin Bond in the introduction of this anthology clearly calls this book an opportunity to ‘celebrate holidays with stories about holidays’. The fourteen stories thus collated make one colourful collection of tales that express adventures as well as misadventures, boisterous families as well as solo explorations, intimate friendships as well as quarrels and arguments. The common thread running across these different hues is that of the colour of summer. Summer vacations and the idea of holidays are very close to the human soul. The stories touch these with immense care and sensitivity thereby making the reader a part of them.

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