The true tale of an unlikely friendship, Owen and Mzee is an important illustration of peace and camaraderie, especially in these fraught times. Filled with wonderful photographs that will warm the heart, this is truly a story to be savored. Recommended By Richard C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The heart-tugging true story of how a baby gorilla found love in the arms of a surrogate mom
When Umande was born, his mother didnt know how to take care of him. So, he was hand-reared by keepers at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. For eight months, the keepers crawled on the ground with him to show him how to walk; coughed in his face to teach him discipline; and gave him happy gorilla grumbles to encourage him. But for Umande, something was still missing. Luckily, a thousand miles away at the Columbus Zoo, a mom was waiting just for him.
This touching true story about finding a family will resonate with animal lovers and adoptive families alike. Share this book with fans of Owen and Mzee, Tarra and Bella, and Knut.
"Remarkable' seems too tame a word for this memorable book about a friendship between two wild creatures. Its genesis lay in Greste's photo of a baby hippo snuggling with a giant tortoise, which appeared in newspapers the month after the cataclysmic 2004 tsunami. Craig Hatkoff and his then six-year-old daughter, moved by that image and by the accompanying article, decided to learn more about these animal companions and to write their story. They do so succinctly and smoothly, ably aided by Kahumbu, manager of the Kenyan animal sanctuary, Haller Park, where the two creatures now live. Greste's crisp, closely focused photos will instantly endear the title characters to readers. When the tsunami struck Kenya, Owen was separated from his mother and the rest of their pod and became stranded on a coral reef. Several spreads chronicle the hippo's difficult rescue and transport to the sanctuary. Once set loose, he immediately scrambled toward Mzee (the Swahili term for 'wise old man'), a 130-year-old Aldabra tortoise: 'Owen crouched behind Mzee, the way baby hippos often hide behind their mothers for protection.' The unadorned text allows the facts themselves to move readers, making clear how the improbable bond between the now inseparable mammal and reptile has helped resilient Owen recover from his traumatic ordeal. ('Most [wildlife experts] have never heard of a mammal... and a reptile... forming such a strong bond.') Priceless images document the pair swimming together or nuzzling, their rough skins complementing each other. In several of Greste's photos, the two creatures appear to have genuine smiles on their faces. Readers will have the same. Ages 4-8." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This touching story of the power of a surprising friendship to mitigate the experience of loss is full of heart and hope." School Library Journal
"[C]hildren will nonetheless embrace the incident's compelling anthropomorphic elements, thoughtfully framed by the authors, and will exclaim over the images of the winsome baby and its grizzled surrogate parent." Booklist
The amazing true story of the orphaned baby hippo and 130-year-old giant turtle whose remarkable friendship touched millions around the world.
The inspiring true story of two great friends, a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-yr-old giant tortoise named Mzee (Mm-ZAY). When Owen was stranded after the Dec 2004 tsunami, villagers in Kenya worked tirelessly to rescue him. Then, to everyone's amazement, the orphan hippo and the elderly tortoise adopted each other. Now they are inseparable, swimming, eating, and playing together. Adorable photos e-mailed from friend to friend quickly made them worldwide celebrities. Here is a joyous reminder that in times of trouble, friendship is stronger than the differences that too often pull us apart.
A friendship unlike any other!
After retiring from the circus, Tarra became the first resident of the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. When other elephants moved in and developed close friendships, only Tarra remained aloneand#151;until the day she met a stray mixed-breed dog named Bella. From then on, the two were inseparable.
Color photographs of Tarra and Bella at home in the Elephant Sanctuary deftly illustrate this inspiring story of inter-species companionship.
About the Author
Craig Hatkoff is the co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival and of Turtle Pond Publications. Both Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship and Owen and Mzee: The Language of Friendship are New York Times bestsellers. He lives with his wife and their two daughters in Manhattan.
Isabella Hatkoff is the co-author of bestselling Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship and Owen and Mzee: The Language of Friendship with her father, Craig Hatkoff, and ecologist Dr. Paula Kahumbu. Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship was published in the spring of 2006 and became an international phenomonen. She lives in Manhattan with her family