Monday, January 22, 2007
Owen and Mzee
Hatkoff, Isabella; Hatkoff, Craig, and Kahumbu, Paula. 2006. OWEN AND MZEE; The True Story Of A Remarkable Friendship. Ill. by Peter Greste. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 0439829739 [Suggested Grade Levels K–5]
This nonfiction picture book features a true story authored by a father-daughter writing team collaborating with the director of the animal sanctuary involved and the news photographer that first captured the story. It’s the fascinating account of the unlikely bond that developed between a baby hippo stranded by the horrific tsunami of 2004 and an ancient 130-year-old tortoise living in the sanctuary where the hippo was eventually taken. Beginning with the rescue of the stranded hippo by Malindi villagers to the move of the hippo to the Haller Park animal sanctuary in Kenya, an abundance of large, close up color photographs and clear, direct narrative tell a compelling, “true life” story. Children are sure to be fascinated by the unusual friendship and will also learn interesting details about animals, their care, and preservation.
Children may enjoy researching more about this true story, particularly looking for the original e-book version online or the newspaper article that first featured the story.
Children may also be inspired by the fact that a six year old child is the driving force behind this book. What other news stories inspire them to find out more and write about it?
More books about Mzee and Owen:
Hatkoff, Isabella; Hatkoff, Craig, and Kahumbu, Paula. OWEN & MZEE: LANGUAGE OF FRIENDSHIP. ISBN 0439899591
Winter, Jeanette. MAMA: A TRUE STORY, IN WHICH A BABY HIPPO LOSES HIS MAMA DURING A TSUNAMI, BUT FINDS A NEW HOME, AND A NEW MAMA. ISBN 0152054952
More stories of unusual animal friendships:
Steig, William. AMOS AND BORIS. ISBN 0374403600
Varon, Sara. CHICKEN AND CAT. ISBN 0439634067
By Sylvia M. Vardell