“Supported by colourful illustrations, Ranji makes a good book for story telling time.”



This little story from Ruskin Bond was apparently inspired by a photograph of a boy playing the flute send to Bond by a fan in Sri Lanka. From the flute evolved a tale of a little boy playing with the instruments left by his dead grandfather who once played in an army band.

Not being a musician Ranji experiments with the instruments beginning with the flute. Its quavers irritate the local crows but fascinate the neighbourhood cats that follow Ranji rather in the same way that the rats followed the Pied Piper. However a pack of dogs charge at the cats, the flute picks up dust from the road and Ranji finds himself forced to try another instrument.

He realizes that it is wiser to restrict his attempts to an animal audience and moves on to the trumpet. Its honks result in a series of encounters with the animals at the local zoo until it is finally confiscated by a mother elephant who gives it to her baby. However, by that time, Ranji has realized that on the whole, nature prefers silence to noise, especially untuneful noise.

The third instrument that he picks up is a drum which takes him to another kind of encounter. Bond tells the story of Ranji’s experiments with music simply and realistically, sketching in the different settings without too much detail. This is what boys do and most of them aren’t great musicians. However, if they are kind hearted little boys on their own, as Ranji is, animals make good friends. Supported by colourful illustrations, Ranji makes a good book for story telling time.


Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 31st May 2018

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Anjana Basu