The story is told in the first person point of view, of young Ricky Baker. This gives us the perspective of a young Maori boy, with his unique intellect, sense of humour and quick wit.
Crump uses idioms such as “shoving more in”, “stuck in”, “keeping my head down”, “busted in on us”
Colloquial language “the wrong sort of stuff ”, “the bloody wireless”, chooks
Informal, chatty style of young Ricky retelling his story
Simple sentences “The bloke was lying.” “It was real steep.” “Uncle Hec was very old.””I looked around.”
Incomplete/Minor Sentences “Over fifty.” “Right past her.” “Not once.” “Good breakfasts, those ones.” “Good tucker, the old blackberry.”- to emphasise an observation Ricky has made.
NZ vocabulary – place names such as Apopo
Maori words – manuka, wekas, pukekos, kumara
Metaphor – Aunt Bella calls Ricky “lamb”, when he’s naughty she calls him a “scallywag”
“…what a lazy pig he was.”
Simile “Beyond that dark ridges of native bush went right up to a broken blue range shaped like a train crash.”
Personification”…listening to the Apopo river talking away to itself in mangled voices beyond the window…”