Book Review: 'MANGO & BAMBANG: TINY TAPIR TROUBLE', by Polly Faber. 31/10/2016
'Mango & Bambang: Tiny Tapir Trouble' is the third in the series of books by Polly Faber. Like the first two, it is a light, fun & humorous read. The book employs a similar presentation style as before, with a turquoise striped cover / turquoise page border design, and great cartoon illustrations by Clara Vulliamy. It is divided into 4 chapters once more. Though chronological, each chapter could very well have been self contained stories presented as a set of 4 shorter books. The book appears to be aimed at girls of primary school age, although young readers of both gender will enjoy it. It will be very appropriate just after the transition point from picture-heavy books to ones with more written text.
In reviewing the first book last year, I stated that it reminded us a little of 'Paddington'. There is a quote from ‘The Sunday Times’ printed at the back of this book stating the exact thing. The stories follow the continuing adventures of the little girl called Mango and her best pal Bambang, a tapir from Malaysia who was taken in by Mango after he had gotten himself lost. From a day to remember at the seaside, and a visit from Bambang’s tiny troublesome cousin, Gunter, to Mango’s big shot at the chess tournament.
There's a bounce in the way the text reads. Plus, it's refreshing that Polly Faber chose a slightly unorthodox animal for her central character (as opposed to the usual cats and dogs, pigs and sheep, and bears and hares that fill such books). Bambang and Mango make a dynamic duo, and the significance of friendship resonates throughout the book. Readers familiar with the characters will enjoy the latest adventures with the pair.