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Johann Rudolf Wyss' tale of a family's adventures on an isolated desert island is a great children's favourite. The plot is a simple one but has many surprises and excitements along the way, which is part of the book's enduring charm. The Robinson family, consisting of William and Elizabeth and their four children, Fritz, Ernest, Jack and Francis, along with two dogs, Turk and Juno, find themselves shipwrecked on a tropical island in the East Indies.
They are fortunate enough to have salvaged some of the wrecked ship's cargo of livestock Including chickens and geese, as well as guns and carpentry tools. With the help of his family, the father, William, sets about establishing a home and a self-sufficient base in their new and strange environment. The novel then details the exploits, trials and tribulations the Robinsons experience in the next ten years on the island. Initially they construct a treehouse, but as time passes they settle in a more permanent dwelling in part of a cave.
They discover food such as coconuts, sugarcane, honey and potatoes, and secure themselves against danger. Adventure follows adventure as they explore the territory, encounter wild birds and terrifying animals, plant crops, and settle in for a long stay. The narrative is so engrossing for a while we become castaways, too, with the Robinsons on their desert island.