Between Night and Day
Oxford Children’s Books
Pongo is an orangutan of the ‘safe-in-the-day’ kind. One day when picking a mango for breakfast, she comes upon Bulu a tiny bat – a ‘safe-at-night’ sort of bat. Narrowly missing becoming a passing eagle’s next meal as it swoops through the forest, Bulu tells his new friend of his dislike of the daytime. His fear is palpable as we see in Sean Julian’s illustration and Pongo senses the bat’s panic right away, deciding to take the tiny creature back home to his dark cave.
En route the orangutan shows her companion some of the things she loves about the forest but all the while Bulu is afraid.
Even more so when they stop for a drink at the pool and he’s confronted with a face staring out at him. His fear turns to pleasure however, and as the two proceed, both of them are enjoying themselves.
At Bulu’s dark cave, it’s Pongo that becomes fearful but he accepts his friend’s invitation to view his home. Now Pongo’s imagination runs wild and it’s Bulu’s turn to allay his companion’s fears
and continue inwards till they reach the bat’s favourite place.
Eventually it’s time for the two to part company but every sunset Pongo fondly recalls their meeting. Is there a way the friends can be together again?
Sean’s tale of friendship and seeing things from another’s viewpoint is beautifully illustrated with scenes that powerfully evoke its steamy tropical rainforest setting and the feelings of the two animals.