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BookTuber’s Pick: A Book to Chill Your Summer

 

2021.07.05

 

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I’m taking an early summer vacation. It’s still June, but the ground heats up hot during the day and stays heated until night – it is summer, and nobody can doubt it. Sitting out on the terrace, I hear grasshoppers chirping. And I start to think, why are summer nights so special? So many good memories were from summer nights. I once lay down inside a sleeping bag with my friend and exclaimed when we spotted a shooting star at the same time. Also, I remember the moment when my heart palpitated as I saw the sunrise on the way back home from a night movie – it was also a summer night.
I let my feelings take me over, smelling the misty droplets in the air. Thinking about how to spend this special time, I took out the book I brought from home. There is a rhino and a penguin putting their foreheads together on the cover of this thin book. The title is Long, Long Night (Munhakdongne Kids). It features the miraculous story of two animals, spending a long, long night together listening to the voice of each other.
Norden, the protagonist, is a rhinoceros who grew up in an orphanage. Norden sets out to the outer world looking for freedom,meets other rhinos, and creates a family. He spends a good time running across the wide, open field with them, but he soon loses his family due to human hunters. Norden manages to survive alone but is seriously wounded. He collapses onto the pool of blood spilled by his wife and daughter. When he opens his eyes again, he finds himself trapped in a zoo, and begins to have nightmares. Watching him suffer every night, his rhino friend Angkabu advises him:

 

“When you fall asleep after a good talk, you don’t get nightmares.
Trust me. Tell me about the outer world tonight if you can’t believe me.
Hey, I have never taken a step outside.”

 

Norden takes his advice and begins to tell stories. Listening to each other’s stories - stories about Norden’s wife, daughter, and the field they would run across, they spend a long, long night. However, the moment doesn’t last long, as Angkabu is killed by hunters who attacked the zoo. Another sound of a gunshot, and another bloody pool... Norden survives alone again and becomes “the last white rhinoceros on Earth.” In short, he is left alone, for sure.
One day, Norden takes a chance and succeeds in escaping the zoo. He has a partner for the new journey, penguin Wimbo, who ran away from the zoo with an egg that is about to hatch. The two spend numerous days and nights together, heading to the ocean. They overcome sorrowful and fearful nights by telling stories to each other with heads put together. Day after day, their friendship becomes closer.

 

“I didn’t realize back then how amazing it is that we,
who are different from the bottom to the top, only have each other.
Looking back, everything was a miracle.”

“I looked down at the blue world from the cliff for quite a long time.
In front of the vast ocean, we were too little beings.
The ocean was undoubtedly beautiful, but we were a mess.
... I went closer to the sea, walking on the wet sand.
The ocean in front of me shattered and restructured countless times. I was scared.
But I knew that I would go inside that water, embarking on an adventure.
I knew that I would be able to spend so many long, long nights by myself.
And I will find something, something shining like the twinkling stars in the long, long night sky.”

 

Their miraculous stories permeated into my heart. I closed the book many times in between as the book struck my feelings, and I had to take a deep breath. Little changes occur in this world when beings with different pains and sorrows lie down together and whisper to share each other's stories. I learned how to heal the sufferings from the past and prevail over them as I read Long, Long Night.
As I closed the book after bursting into tears, my husband, who was by my side, asked what made me so sad. I told him about Norden and Wimbo, barely managing to keep the tears in my throat. I shed some tears again, but I didn’t stop telling the story. I’m sure that this moment will make another night special. I’m with the elephant, rhino, and the penguin from the book in the name of “us.” Their stories of love and solidarity floated sweetly in the summer night air.

 

 


Written by Gongbaek (BookTuber)

 

kbbok

Gongbaek (BookTuber)

#BookTuber#Long, Long Night#Luri#Munhakdongne Kids#Summer
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