cover image Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig

Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig

Polly Faber, illus. by Clara Vulliamy. Candlewick, $14.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8226-2

Told over four chapters, this sweetly old-fashioned story from newcomer Faber follows the friendship that develops between a competent, kindhearted girl named Mango and Bambang, a talking tapir from Malaysia, whom Mango takes in after finding the animal cowering in the middle of a crosswalk, snarling traffic. Overcoming his initial nervousness (after a month, “Bambang still hid, sometimes several times a day, from possible tigers”), Bambang has a mixed experience at the local pool and has a run-in with one of Mango’s neighbors, who collects everything from “pickled puffer fish” to the “mustaches of famous murderers” (and the occasional tapir). Vulliamy’s chic black-and-white illustrations, accented with lavender, play right into the primness and dry humor of Faber’s storytelling, helping to create a bustling, adventure-filled urban landscape that readers should be eager to revisit. Ages 6–9. (June)