Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Pongo by Jesse Hodgson (Flying Eye Books)


Written and Illustrated by
Jesse Hodgson

Published by Flying Eye Books

Please don't accuse us of favouritism or anything, and please don't berate us for gushing reviews of Flying Eye's range of books. We wouldn't gush about them so much if they weren't utterly and completely beautiful and wonderful.

Take Jesse Hodgson's deliriously delicious "Pongo". Ask yourself a couple of important questions here.

1) Why aren't there more books with Orang-utans in them?
2) How do you feel about big orange bottoms?

Pongo lives in the deepest darkest recesses of the rainforest (that opening page spread, oh man, just LOOK at Pongo's expression and you'l swear he's blinking and winking at you). Every day is dark and dismal (and very wet, Charlotte loved Pongo's "Totoro Umbrella" - you'll see what she means). Pongo longs to feel the rays of the bright orange sun on his bright orange back, and so sets out on a journey to discover that big bright glowing orb for himself.

Along the way Pongo mistakes several other things for the sun. Including...

Oooh! Cheeky! More moon than sun, that!

...a rather cheeky monkey behind.

Pongo wonders if he'll ever find the sun, and whether he'll ever be anything but lonely. But when Papaya says hello, everything changes for Pongo in more ways than one.

This book positively glows with originality and beauty. Pongo is a fantastic character, and the book is a wonderful way to introduce your children to what they'll be missing if the current generation continues to trash our rainforests and eat into the wonderful habitats for the amazing animals who dwell in it at the rate they currently are.

We used the book as the inspiration to dive through our collection of atlases, encyclopaedias and natural history books to see the REAL "Pongo" and his friends, and to watch some clips of Orang-utans.

The story has such a beautiful end (which we won't spoil for you - and no, I'm not talking about that Baboon bum!) that you'll want to skip straight back to the start and begin again as soon as you've finished. As we said at the top of the review, Flying Eye are consistently putting out some of the most amazing and glorious books, and this is no exception. Charlotte's best bit: Naturally, the bit with the bum - and tracing the line of bees with her finger, pointing the way to the sun Daddy's Favourite bit: Beautiful illustrations, beautiful text, utterly brilliant book. Don't hang around like a lazy gibbon, go get it! (Kindly sent to us for review by Flying Eye Books)