Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Polly Faber
Illustrator: Clara Vulliamy
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Mango Allsorts is a girl who can do lots of things. She’s confident, kind, and capable. Mango lives with her very busy father in a very busy city, and even though she tries to be very busy herself, sometimes she feels lonely. That is until she meets Bambang, the tapir that has strayed far from his Malaysian jungle. In these four short stories, Mango and Bambang go on fun adventures and learn to overcome their fears together. They go swimming when Bambang is homesick for his pond, escape from the eccentric neighbor Dr. Cynthia Prickle-Posset, and perform at a concert together. Through all their adventures, the best friends prove that Bambang is certainly not a pig at all, but something more special.
Mango and Bambang: The Not-a-Pig is an exciting, accessible, and well-crafted story for young readers that teaches about friendship and overcoming fear. The illustrations by Clara Vulliamy bring the story to life and engage readers by adding to the text. Children of all ages will enjoy the funny situations that Mango and Bambang find themselves in, and adults (parents and teachers alike) will find this book helpful in teaching about kindness, hard work, and acceptance. Mango is a bright child who helps Bambang adjust to city life and teaches him about never giving up, even when things are hard. An outstanding work, the series should be a great addition to any reader’s collection.