Visit a day in the life of two friends with your readertotz. Owen & Mzee, A Day Together is based on the true story of the baby hippo Owen, who lost his mother during the tsunami in Southeast Asia, and the giant tortoise Mzee, who befriended him. The work springs from the NY Times Bestseller Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship.
Peter Greste, photojournalist and broadcaster for the BBC, captured the love between these two unlikely friends through his beautiful photographs.
The board book contains varied layouts which keep the presentation fresh. Graphic edges along certain photos and text bring additional color and playfulness. The layouts build until the above closing full page spread. The work is well-paced for strong emotional impact.
Alongside the dear photographs, the focused and limited text expounds friendship. Friends may talk in their own language, go for walks, and swim. But like true friends:
"Owen eats what Mzee eats and rests when Mzee is tired.
Owen protects Mzee when he is scared.
And Mzee makes Owen feel safe."
Your heart will be touched, just as mine was, as you share this board book with your readertotz.
Orphaned off the coast of Kenya, it took a full day to rescue Owen who was named after the rescuer who had tackled the hippo at a crucial moment. Mzee means "old man" in Swahili, perfect for the 130 year old tortoise. The interactive website with a documentary will be a favorite of your totz.
Owen & Mzee, A Day Together
by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Paula Kahumbu
photographs by Peter Greste
Cartwheel Books, Scholastic, 2008
Lorie Ann Grover, author/illustrator