Owen and Mzee: The Language of Friendship

by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, Paula Kahumbu, Photographs By Peter Greste


Scholastic Press
December 2006


Non-Fiction
Ages 4 – 7 . Grades PreK – 2

Library of Congress: 2006015612


Lexile measure: 980L

DRA: 60

Guided Reading: X

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In this exciting follow-up to OWEN & MZEE, the New York Times bestselling story about an orphaned baby hippo named Owen and the 130-year-old giant turtle, Mzee, Craig Hatkoff explores the language of love, friendship, and nurturance that these two incredible creatures share with one another. This book traces their first year together, including their adorable playful ways and the unique "language" that they have developed.
Peter Greste

Peter Greste is the photo-illustrator of the bestselling Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship and Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship. Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship was published in the spring of 2006 and became an international phenomenon.

Peter is an internationally recognized photojournalist and broadcaster for the BBC. He currently lives in Mombasa, Kenya.


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Craig Hatkoff

Craig Hatkoff is the co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival and of Turtle Pond Publications. Both Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship and Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship are New York Times bestsellers. He lives with his wife and their two daughters in Manhattan.
Isabella Hatkoff

Isabella Hatkoff is the co-author of bestselling Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship and Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship with her father, Craig Hatkoff, and ecologist Dr. Paula Kahumbu. Owen & 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

SELECT REVIEWS:

  • PW STARRED
    Those who were captivated byOwen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship -about the bond between a baby hippo orphaned by the 2004 tsunami and an adult tortoise living in the same Kenyan sanctuary-will find this follow-up equally mesmerizing. Again, Greste's crisp color photographs reveal these inseparable animal companions at remarkably close range. A standout sequence of nine frames allows readers to observe one of the unique ways the pair communicates: the now two-year-old Owen, signaling Mzee to move to the left, nudges the 130-year-old turtle's left rear foot. The two also communicate in their own "language," a deep rumbling sound that is not intuitive to either species. The authors (a youngster, her father and the manager of the Kenyan park) do raise questions about how the friendship will progress, as Owen grows to his adult size of 7,000 pounds, and his caretakers worry that he could unintentionally harm Mzee. Nonetheless, readers of all ages will likely concur with the authors' observation: "No matter how things turn out, the story of their friendship will always remind the world that when you need a friend, one will be there for you." Youngsters will eagerly await the next chapter in this extraordinary companionship. Ages 4-8.(Jan.)

    Kirkus
    In 2005, this father-daughter team, with the ecologist and the photographer, chronicled the
    irresistible story of the baby hippopotamus, orphaned by the December 2004 tsunami, which
    imprinted on the more-than-a-century-old Aldabra tortoise in a nature preserve in Kenya. Owen and
    Mzee's story continues, with unexpected communication and devotion between the animals and the
    unexpected difficulties (Owen acts much more like a tortoise than a hippo). The photographs continue
    to be quite wonderful, and it is hard not to agree with the astonishment in the text: These animals
    communicate, play, eat and live together, though they are utterly dissimilar in every way. Their story
    is recapitulated in this volume, so even if they don't own the first, eager young readers can catch right
    up and be mesmerized, mystified and charmed. (natural history, maps, notes) (Picture book. 5-10)
    . . .


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Hardback
$18.99

Jacketed Hardcover / Smyth

ISBN: 9780439899598

40pp. | 10-½ x 9-½