the Language of Friendship
by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff with Dr. Paula Kahumbu
I wish I could give this book a higher rating, it certainly is an incredible story. But for some reason it all falls a bit short with me. The writing style is aimed at younger readers and rather simple. (I am sure having three authors doesn't help, I'm always a bit standoffish to books with more than one author for some reason). The part about their interspecies communication, which I was most intrigued by, was actually very brief. There is not much meat here; I am actually wondering what this book includes that the first one didn't. I am sure there will be a third installment, but I'd really rather wait until someone writes a book ten years down the road that tells the entire story in more detail. The part I actually liked most was reading in the end about how Dr. Haller (who established the wildlife park the two animals lived in) works to rehabilitate old abandoned limestone quarries, restoring the forest at those sites so wildlife can live there again. I'd like to read more about that.
The story of Owen and Mzee has definitely caught the attention of many. There are already three books illustrated with photographs by Isabella and her father, plus two picture books by different authors.
Rating: 3/5 36 pages, 2007
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