For baby hippo Owen his brownish grey mummy is his whole world until one day the rains come and Owen and his mother are swept out to sea. When Owen is washed back to shore he is alone. He goes in search of his mother and when he sees a large greyish brown shape he cuddles up to it and finally falls asleep. The shape is an ancient tortoise called Mzee. Owen follows him everywhere and they play Owen’s favourite game: hide-and-seek. When Owen is tired he puts his head on Mzee’s back and they fall asleep together. Soft, glowing illustrations capture the mystery and joy of Owen and Mzee’s unusual bond.
Children who have lost a parent or experienced a change in circumstances, such as fostering or adoption, will relate to orphaned Owen and find comfort in his loving relationship with his adoptive mother, Mzee, a 130-year-old male tortoise.