Friday, November 14, 2008

Mr. Mom: Looking for Miza by Juliana and Isabella Hatkoff and Paula Kihumbe.

Craig, Juliana, and Isabella Hatkoff, authors of the best-selling Owen & Mzee books, which told the moving story of a hippo and giant tortoise who have an unlikely friendship, have turned their attention to the mountain gorillas of the Congo's Virunga National Park in their new book Looking For Miza.

The authors tell the story of a two-year-old infant female gorilla named Miza. Still too young to be weaned, Miza's mother takes her away from the troop to forage and fails to return in the evening. Led by Miza's father, the silverback Kabirizi, the members of the band search for the missing two. The forest rangers assigned to protect this group of endangered gorillas search the dense forest as well, but it is finally her father Kabirizi who finds and brings the young one back to the troop. At first Miza seems traumatized by the apparent loss of her mother in some unfortunate event, but with time and care from her older sister Tumaini and the others, she soon recovers her appetite and spirits.

Illustrated with beautiful, evocative photographs by Peter Greste, this story of life among one of earth's most threatened species will appeal to young readers, not only for the poignant account of a lost baby gorilla, but also for its wealth of information about the environment and family behavior of these great apes. The depiction of the powerful silverback as a caring father figure is a valuable corrective to the view of the male gorilla as "King Kong."

For my posts on the Hatkoffs' earlier books, Owen & Mzee The Language of Friendship and the more recent How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World (Knut), see my reviews here and here.

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  • I hope this one is as good as Owen and Mzee. I didn't find Knut nearly as captivating. Thanks for the review.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:29 PM  

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