Title : Mr. Oliver's Diary
Author : Ruskin Bond
Publisher : Penguin Books India
Ruskin Bond needs no introduction. With over 30 children's titles to his credit, he is one of the accomplished champions of the art of writing. He has created the magic in the form of 'Mr. Oliver's Diary' yet again with a very amiable history teacher Mr. Christopher Oliver who arrives in Shimla with more than 100 hungry boys to start a new school term at the Prep School (Classes I - VI).
It so turns out that other than taking his regular classes, Mr. oliver becomes a panacea for all ills and is called by the headmaster for almost all types of problems whether it is the case of fire in the premises, case of sleepwalking student, crisis of a couple of runaway students, invasion of frogs, taking up the challenge of boxing or principal getting locked-in at his own house.
Though not a dashingly handsome personality, Mr. Oliver is blessed with a heart of gold and is a lovable character who manages to share a very special bond with his students.
The hilarious moments with the antics of his parrot who only likes to screech 'Bottoms up' , his wig getting out of its designated position on more than one occasions and many comical instances make it a very funny diary indeed. Since it is a diary so Mr. Oliver sincerely pours his heart out even about the secret admiration that he harbors for Ms. Anjali Ramola, a co-teacher.
Ruskin Bond's refined sense of humour is evident in his writing throughout the narrative. We also get to see glimpses of changing colours of nature as the days and months pass by one after another and the mention of the same finds a place in this chronicle which I found really very intelligent way of involving the readers into the proceedings.
A book well deserved to be among the six short listed books of 2010 for Crossword Book Awards under Children's category. More about the awards here.