Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig

Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig

Fall 2016 Fiction
Ages: 6 - 9 yrs.
Author: Polly Faber
Illustrator: Clara Vulliamy
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763682262
Hardcover Price: $14.99
p>Mango is a very busy girl who is good at many things-she can do karate, play chess, and make excellent buttered noodles for her equally busy father. If she were not so busy, she might be a bit lonely.

One day, on her way home from karate, she meets a disoriented tapir named Bambang curled up in the middle of a crosswalk, hiding from tigers. By the time she coaxes Bambang out of the road and home to her apartment, the two have become best friends. Now, Mango finds she needs to be good at a few more things, including finding Bambang when he wanders away from the public pool and rescuing him from a frightening neighbor who likes to collect exotic objects like live tapirs. After a while, though, Bambang begins to wonder what he is good at, so that he can show Mango how much he loves her.

This early chapter book about an animal-child friendship is reminiscent of classic picture books like Paddington Bear. Bambang is endearingly shy and playful, and Mango is a resourceful protector and guide. Clara Vulliamy's simple, delicate illustrations enhance the humor of the story and the warmth of the characters. Mango and Bambang edges into nostalgia, and at times is overly sweet, but it is nevertheless a lovely book that early readers will enjoy, with or without the help of grownups.

Naomi Lesley   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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