This is the first in a series of books that tell of the adventures of the unlikely pairing of a young girl and a lost tapir who is definitely not-a-pig.
Meet Bambang, whatever you do do not mistake him for a pig, he is a tapir. A lost tapir who has strayed far away from home. After being mistaken for a rather lumpy zebra crossing, Bambang is rescued by Mango Allsorts, a young girl who, much like her name suggests, likes and is good at all sorts of things. After Mango comforts and reassures the nervous and frightened Bambang, the two strike up a friendship and Mango delights in taking Bambang under her wing and in helping him overcome his fears. But with a big musical performance looming and Mango feeling very worried, can Bambang reciprocate the help he has been given and make sure that Mango gives the performance of her life and does not get stage fright…
Mango and Bambang is such a lovely read. The cute pair have plenty of fun adventures and there are important messages on overcoming fears, bravery and friendship. Readers will quickly warm to the duo and will share in the joy that Mango experiences at having gained the most surprising and wonderful of friend’s. The food-loving, clarinet-playing, and karate-kicking Mango is lovely and embodies messages of kindness, resilience and what it means to be a good friend. I really like that whilst she in essence adopts Bambang she never treats him like her pet and respects that he is at heart a wild creature. Bambang is one big bundle of joy, from his nervy beginnings he grows in courage and confidence, perhaps a little too much as he finds himself trapped in a naughty animal collector’s apartment after a solo adventure. Luckily, the ever resourceful and problem-solving Mango is on hand with her karate-kicking skills to save the day.
The book is a collection of four short stories, approximately thirty pages each, that link together and are best read in order. The simple stories are accompanied by delightful black and white illustrations that feature flashes of lavender purple. I really liked the inclusion of a portrait gallery at the start of the book that introduces the key characters and a little bit about each of them.
Sweet, charming and utterly delightful.
Recommended for 6+.