This large and affecting picture book is based on the true story of a young hippopotamus that loses his mother during the dreadful tsunami of 2004 in Eastern Kenya. Tender pictures in a pastel palette show a hippopotamus family swimming and grazing in the Sabaki River. Then comes the furious storm which sweeps all living things down the river bringing back only baby Owen to the shore. The pace of the writing and the way the words are placed on the page with different print sizes echoes the fast movement of the tsunami and the devastation it brought. The young hippopotamus is ‘befuddled and weak and very, very sad’. After some time, he finds companionship and affection with Mzee, an old tortoise who looks after him just as his mother once did. We cannot protect children from the sad things that happen and facing up to these is eased by the distancing effect of story. But clearly questions about loss after a shared reading would need sensitive handling.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2008-05-07 12:38:542023-01-07 12:41:12A Mummy for Owen
Illustrator: John Butler