Tuesday, February 5, 2008
A Mama for Owen by Marion Dane Bauer, pictures by John Butler
This is a fictionalized account of the friendship between the young hippo, Owen, orphaned by the Christmas tsunami, and the old tortoise, Mzee. The story of these unlikely friends has inspired non-fiction books for older readers, but this story is meant for younger readers and focuses on the friendship that develops between the two animals. The illustrations are soft and comforting and the text is simple and repetitive. The non-fiction accounts of this story are much better at telling the story and explaining how this friendship came to be, but this book would be a good introduction for younger children with the non-fiction texts used to add supporting facts. Or it can be used on its own in a discussion about friendship.