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Ruskin Bond visits Quad School Ruskin Bond at his typewriter, March 1998

Ruskin Bond honored Woodstock with a personal visit to the Quad school on Monday, March 8. As Mussoorie's most famous resident author he is frequently seen walking and shopping in the bazaar but it has been several years since he has come as a guest to the school. Mrs. Sanjaya Mark invited him to visit the elementary classes who prepared by reading a variety of his childrens' books.

Ruskin Bond has written over 60 children's books, the more famous among them being The CherryTree, The Blue Umbrella, and his novel, The Room on the Roof for which he was awarded the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1958 when he was only 18. He has just released his autobiography, Leaves of a Journal.

The day of Ruskin Bond's visit was clear and cool. He arrived in time for morning coffee with the teaching staff in the elementary and middle school in the Quad.

He then began a series of visits to each elementary classroom. In the Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten class he joined the students sitting on a miniature chair to hear their questions. Robin Ediger, a preschooler, asked "How do you write a book?" Ruskin responded that he usually wrote with either a pen or pencil on paper. He said sometimes his writing is typed or put into a computer by someone helping him. Jerry Arthur, also a preschooler, asked if he read books in bed, to which he said, he did.

Graduating quickly from one class to the next, Ruskin went on to the 2nd and 3rd grade class where the questions were mainly about his book, The Blue Umbrella, which the students had read, illustrated and created an imaginative bulletin board with a real blue umbrella. The questions from this group revolved a round the characters in his books. Students had each prepared five questions that they took turns asking. A student wanted to know if Mr. Bond had ever met an author when he was in school (he studied at Bishop Cotton in Shimla). He said he was not lucky enough to have that experience but he had always enjoyed writing stories, even as a school boy.

Mrs. Rosemary Braid, the Quad school librarian, had ordered Ruskin Bond's books for sale and number of students and staff took advantage of the opportunity to have the books autographed.

He kept his sense of humor and patience all through the morning as he moved from class to class. The end of the visit was a special lunch served in the Quad Auditorium for special guests and all the students and teachers in the Quad school. Mr. Bond later told Mrs. Mark he had a most enjoyable visit.

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