23 February 2007
Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship
Authors: Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu
Illustrator/Photographer: Peter Greste
This really is an amazing story. For those of you who haven't heard it yet, it's the story of a baby hippo that was orphaned after the 2004 tsunami. After being rescued, he develops a surprising odd-couple friendship with a curmudgeonly old tortoise. You can't make this stuff up. The book itself, however, is disappointing. To get to the heart of this story, you have to wade through a patronizing narrative and pedestrian photography. (There are a few really cute shots, but alot of the pictures look like they were taken by a tourist with a point-and-click digital camera. Some of the blown-up pictures are low resolution and it shows.)
Maybe that's the point... like this book, real friends aren't always eloquent or particularly good looking. (See Exhibit A). However, if can look beyond all their shortcomings, only then will you discover the true meaning of friendship.
Or maybe you need to find new friends. Maybe it just means you'd do just as well reading this article as buying the book.