Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship

Authors: Isabella and Craig Hatkoff
and Dr. Paula Kahumbu
Illustrator: Peter Greste
Publisher: Scholastic Press, New York
Publication Date: 2006
Awards: Association for Library Service to Children 2007 Notable Children’s books
Genre: Non-Fiction also with a Board Book Edition
Audience: Gr. Pre-K+

Overview: A fascinating story of how two animals not likely to interact in the wild became best friends at an animal sanctuary after the tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2004 brought them together. A touching, unique story illustrated with real photographs.

Activity: This is a good story to have students act out. Have students split into partners with one being the hippo and the other the tortoise. While you read the story through a second time have the students act the story out reminding them both hippos and tortoises move very slowly and don’t make much noise.

Reviewer’s Name: Laura Messerly