Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Have you heard the story of Owen and Mzee? It is one of those stories that almost seems like Hallmark made it up, but apparently, it's true! Fortunately it has recently been documented in two fabulous picture books.

This first is Mama by Jeanette Winter. She wrote The Librarian of Basra. What, you haven't read it yet? What's wrong with you?! The second is by three people: Isabella and Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Paula Kahumbu. Both tell the story of Owen, who as a baby hippo was separated from his mother, thanks to the Tsunami that hit Asia a while back. Owen was taken to a nature reserve to live and there he meets Mzee. Mzee is an ancient tortoise. Like, really, he is over a hundred years old. Anyways, Owen took a liking to Mzee, who was a bit of a loner, but after a while, they settled into a very nice friendship, with Mzee looking after his young hippo friend.

Mama is a great book for younger kids, and is done is an almost Are You My Mother? style. Though the text throughout is limited to the one word, there is a nice afterword relating the story of Owen and Mzee. It also features Winter's phenomenal illustrations. I have no idea what medium she uses, but her art is so cool to look at.

Owen and Mzee on the other hand, features photographic illustrations. This take on the story is a more factual one, for slightly older kids. The text is simple and straightforward, delivering all the relevant facts without becoming clinical. The photographs document every step of Owen's journey, and kids should get a real kick out of them.

Two great books on one of nature's nicest friendships.

Mama written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter
ISBN 0152054952
32 pages

Owen and Mzee: the True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella & Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Paula Kahumbu, with photographs by Peter Greste
ISBN 0439829739
40 pages


  • At 8:18 AM, Blogger jimbo said…

    Read more about Owen & Mzee at their blog:

    Join the Owen & Mzee Yahoo Group at:

    Publisher's website will launch soon:

    See Owen & Mzee Movie trailer:


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