Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship

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This picture book is the story of an orphaned baby hippo named Mzee.  Mzee’s parents were killed during the 2004 tsunami.  Kenyan villagers worked to save Mzee, who soon became fast friends with an elderly tortoise named Owen.  Locals took photos of the pair, quickly making them worldwide celebrities.

This picture book was illustrated using photographs.  Mzee is a different type of orphan, but one that is not uncommon.  Children in younger grades will love hearing the story of animal friendship.  This story also provides a way to integrate science topics into literacy, such as weather and animal adaptations.

Hatkoff, I., Hatkoff C., & Kahumbu, P.  (2006).  Owen and mzee: The true story of a remarkable friendship.  New York: Scholastic.

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