Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship
Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship
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Series: Owen And Mzee   
Annotation: Explores the language of love, friendship, and nurturing between Owen the hippopotamus and Mzee the tortoise.
Genre: [Biology]
Catalog Number: #14333
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition Date: 2007
Illustrator: Greste, Peter,
Pages: 40
Availability: Indefinitely Out of Stock
ISBN: Publisher: 0-439-89959-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-12577-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-439-89959-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-12577-3
Dewey: 599.63
LCCN: 2006015612
Dimensions: 24 x 27 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In their second book about the young hippo and elderly tortoise living in a Kenyan wildlife sanctuary, the authors report on the pair's first year and a half together. The color photos are topflight, and the anecdotes (such as one about new tortoise pal Toto) will satisfy fans of the odd couple. Thankfully, this book tones down the first book's sentimentality and anthropomorphism.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 4-Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship (Scholastic, 2006) chronicled the fascinating story of a baby hippo who was orphaned by the December 2004 tsunami and the bond he formed with Mzee, a 130-year-old Alhambra tortoise at a wildlife sanctuary in Kenya. This sequel updates readers on the status of that friendship a year and a half later, particularly with regard to the way this unusual duo has learned to communicate with one another. They apparently call back and forth, making sounds that hippos and tortoises do not usually make. The authors honestly discuss the issues that will face these two friends in the future, as their caretakers become increasingly concerned that Owen could become a danger to Mzee as he continues to grow. Other problems and possible solutions are discussed. The text is clearly written and accompanied by numerous high-quality, full-color photos of this unique pair. Children captivated by the first book will be thrilled to discover this one, and enough background information is provided so that readers coming to the story for the first time will be comfortable. A first purchase for most libraries.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly

Those who were captivated by Owen & 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.)

Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The New York Times best-seller Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship(2006) told the tale of an orphaned baby hippo and a giant tortoise whose bond, formed in the wake of the Indonesian tsunami, defied naturalists' expectations. This follow-up updates children on the pair through crisp, immediate photos taken at the Kenyan refuge they call home. The same complicated supporting cast is featured in this book, including a father-daughter team; a naturalist from the refuge; and photojournalist Greste, whose photos here are more varied, abundant, and consistent in quality than before. Along with assuring children that the bond between Owen and Mzee is stronger than ever, the authors chronicle the animals' system of communication, involving nudges, nips, and even a special kind of call. Libraries that own the first title will certainly want to add this title; those that don't may wish to purchase just this one, which gives the necessary context and duplicates some elements from the earlier book, while extending the information rough references to naturalists' concerns about Owen's need to interact with other hippos, and about Mzee's safety as his companion grows to his 7,000-pound size a way that moves beyond the pat, heartwarming aspects of the incident to ask fascinating questions about animal behavior
Word Count: 3,162
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.0 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 113372 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.9 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q40276
Lexile: 980L
Guided Reading Level: X

The in-demand follow-up to the New York Times bestseller, OWEN & MZEE, the friendship that has touched millions around the world.

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.

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