Owen and Mzee

Hatkoff, I., Hatkoff, C., & Kahumbu, P. (2006). Owen & Mzee: A true story of remarkable friendship. New York, NY: Turtle Pond Publications LLC.

This is a true story about how a baby hippo stranded due to a tsunami ends up away from his “family” and into an animal sanctuary where he befriends a 130 year old giant turtle.

Genre: Nonfiction

Grade level:K-5th

Readers who would like this: Children who like animals, children who enjoy nonfiction, children who enjoy stories that depict unlikely or unique tales.

Response and rating:4; I love this book because I think it does two wonderful things. The first is that the book teaches readers that friendship knows no bounds- the differences that separate us are not stronger than those that unite us. Second, the book teaches children the value of friendship at a time of hardship or need, which can truly be a lifesaving message. The photography in the book was great as well, however I think this book is a little bit too text-heavy for some younger readers who might thoroughly enjoy the story otherwise.

Question:When I say the word “friendship” out loud, what image comes to mind? What does friendship look like?


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