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OWEN & MZEE by Isabella Hatkoff


The Language of Friendship

by Isabella Hatkoff ; Craig Hatkoff & Paula Kahumbu & photographed by Peter Greste

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-439-89959-1
Publisher: Scholastic

In 2005, this father-daughter team, with the ecologist and the photographer, chronicled the irresistible story of the baby hippopotamus, orphaned by the December 2004 tsunami, which imprinted on the more-than-a-century-old Aldabra tortoise in a nature preserve in Kenya. Owen and Mzee’s story continues, with unexpected communication and devotion between the animals and the unexpected difficulties (Owen acts much more like a tortoise than a hippo). The photographs continue to be quite wonderful, and it is hard not to agree with the astonishment in the text: These animals communicate, play, eat and live together, though they are utterly dissimilar in every way. Their story is recapitulated in this volume, so even if they don’t own the first, eager young readers can catch right up and be mesmerized, mystified and charmed. (natural history, maps, notes) (Picture book. 5-10)