Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship

This is the true story of two great friends: a baby hippo named Owen, and a 130-year-old tortoise named Mzee live in Kenya. In December 2004, something astonishing happen: A frightened young hippo, separated from his family by the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia, adopted an acient Aldabra tortoise as his mother. The old tortoise, for years a loner, accepted the baby hippo as his own. In spite of their many differences, Owen and Mzee are inseparable. What’s even more amazing is that the pair seem to have developed their own” language” of soft sounds and gestures, which continues to baffle wildlife experts.

Related: Africa, Kenya, Nonfiction, Picture Book, Primary (ages 6-9)

One thought on “Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship

  1. Caileen says:

    This heartwarming story is about a young hippo, Owen, who was orphaned after the 2004 tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean. After being rescued and brought to wildlife sanctuary, Haller Park, Owen formed an unlikely but an inseparable bond with a 130 year old tortoise named Mzee.
    This true story is written in a very readable story like way that both younger and older readers can enjoy. The book includes many beautiful photographs of Owen and Mzee together that give the reader a real look at the very special bond formed between the two animals. There is a section in the back of the book that gives the reader more specific information about the animals, Haller Park, and the 2004 tsunami.
    Natural tragedies are, unfortunately, are an unavoidable part of our world. It was heartbreaking to hear about this tsunami as well as the more recent one that happened in Japan. What I liked about this book was that it took a tragedy and told the story of something good that came out of it. The story really focuses on the unusual but inspiring friendship of a young hippo and an old tortoise. It is good for students to see how although bad things happen in this world these is still something good that can come out of it. Aslo, I like how it showed that friends come in all shapes and sizes

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