"The Longest Nights" is a beautiful, touching story of a young penguin raised by the last White Boulder rhinoceros of its kind as they travel the ocean.
- Book Intro
"With many long nights together, it was natural to become a ""we.""
A few years ago, news about ""Sudan, the world's last northern white rhinoceros,"" left us in a state of deep reflection. ""The Longest Nights"" is a fairy tale inspired by the story of Sudan.
What does it feel like to lose all our loved ones and become the last remaining rhinoceros of a species in the world? What is it like to go out to an ocean you've never seen, just to find a safe place for a young creature, as the last favor to your friend? This book tells the story of Norden, a White Boulder Rhinoceros, which is the last of its species on Earth, as he spends many long nights caring for a young penguin, hatched from an abandoned egg, as they make their way to the sea. In spite of their pain, wracking their feet from the rough roads and the sleepless hours of the long, pitch-dark nights, what keeps them alive and alight are their determination, love, and solidarity—like the stars still shining above a dirty puddle.
In the world of elephants, they each depend upon each other and support each other where some are weak—a blind elephant relies on one that can see and a frail elephant leans upon one with strong legs. Norden lives among this unprejudiced species as one of them. But when the time comes for him to choose his own future, Norden goes out into the wild to live as a rhinoceros, his real identity. The outside world is blissful but intensely challenging. Throughout his journey from the elephants’ herd to the wild, via a zoo, and then finally to the ocean, his loved one have been by his side: his wife, who calls Norden an ""unusual but special rhinoceros,"" Angavu, a rhinoceros friend, who teaches him how to get through the long nights without having nightmares, and Chiku, a penguin who tells him, after despairing nights, that there is always ""tomorrow."" Thanks to them, Norden is able to get back to his feet and raise the young penguin in his loving arms. And finally, they are able to confront the sea.
""The Longest Nights” tells of love, solidarity, and the dignity of life, but its true power lies in its encouragement and is a love story to its readers. The book comforts the reader with the knowledge that you don't need a name in order to prove yourself and that you are enough as you are, acknowledging you have done your best. It gives the reader faith that “I” exists from a series of countless miracles and the courage to confront the sea.
(White Boulder Rhinos are not a real species.)"
- About the Author
The author majored in Art Theory. Her The Longest Nights won the 21st Munhakdongne Children’s Literature Award, and her graphic book They Couldn’t Go to Bremen won the 26th Golden Goblin Award for Children’s Books.
Winner of the 21st Munhakdongne Children’s Literature Award
“With the overwhelming power of emotion, this book asks us the deep questions about the meaning of life and captures a certain solemnity in the process of finding the answer. A beautiful portrayal of the last rhinoceros and a penguin that never gives up even in the most extreme circumstances." Song, Su-yon (children's book critic), 2021 "This story shows the pain, fear, and joy of “living as nobody other than myself” in a simple but profound way. It talks about the long nights experienced by everyone who has suffered for me and helped make me as I am today. And their tears, pain, and love that went into those nights are there as well. As the old saying in The Longest Nights, our lives may be like dirty puddles. But they also remind us that there is still a shining star in the dirty puddle. I believe this book will be some support for children who are plodding across the "dirty puddle with stars" today.
Must-read list by Dongdaemun-gu public libraries' 2021 campaign "One Person One Book"
- Bestseller Rank
Number 1 Children's Book for the month of February 2021. Top Ten overall.