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MAMA: A True Story, in Which a Baby Hippo Loses His Mama During a Tsunami, But Finds a New Home, and a New Mama
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MAMA: A True Story, in Which a Baby Hippo Loses His Mama During a Tsunami, But Finds a New Home, and a New Mama

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  112 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Set during the devastating tsunami of 2004, MAMA is the touching true story of a baby hippo that was separated from his mother when the wave hit. After struggling alone for several days, the baby was rescued by Kenyan wildlife officers and brought to live in an animal refuge. There, all by himself, he adopted a new "mother"--that just happened to be a 130-year-old giant ma ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Georgie and the Robbers by Robert BrightShort and Tall by Ellie B. MorrisDippy and the Crocuses by Ellie B. MorrisEdith and Little Bear Lend a Hand by Dare WrightThe Lonely Doll Learns a Lesson by Dare Wright
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42nd out of 848 books — 212 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 184)
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Sandy
Nov 02, 2009 Sandy rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney
Jan 05, 2008 Courtney rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
i cried when i read this book at the library. a really heartfelt children's book depicting the true story of a baby hippo who is adopted by a turtle when he loses his mama. this makes me want to be a mother?!?!?
Amy Clinton
Sep 30, 2013 Amy Clinton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 642
The book Mama is about a little hippo who got separated from his mother, and family of hippos, during a storm. As this little hippo searched and searched for his mother, he eventually found a turtle and became attached to him.

This is a great story to introduce a non-fiction story to children because it is a true story. Allowing the children to know that this actually happened can be a great way to show them the difference between fiction and non-fiction. It is a very cute story, and although it
...more
Xiang Qing
Aug 19, 2015 Xiang Qing rated it it was amazing
There's only two words in the whole book, "MAMA & Baby". But there was more message to it. Pictures do speak a thousand words. Heartwrenching and heartwarming in a same book. I especially love the page where baby hippo and mama tortoise hugged together and with mama hippo's picture as the constellation in the starry starry night. It is just so beautiful.
Bethe
Mar 21, 2015 Bethe rated it really liked it
3 words different words of text, if you count mmm as a word, makes this book accessible for the youngest reader. Always love illustrations by Jeannette Winter, these help to simply tell the story of Owen, the baby hippo lost in the tsunami. Author note explains his rescue. Pair with the Owen and Mzee books by Craig Hatkoff.
Diane
Dec 19, 2010 Diane rated it really liked it
Mama by Jeanette Winter is another sweet story, told basically through illustrations only, except for the words "mama and baby". On the last page of the book is a brief synopsis of what really occurred when a baby hippo became separated from his mother when the great waves hit following the tsunami. After struggling alone for several days, the baby hippo was rescued by Kenyan wildlife officers and brought to live in an animal refuge. There, the baby hippo adopted a new "mama", a 130-year-old gia ...more
Michele Karmartsang
Great on a couple of levels: simple sight reading ("mama" and "baby") and a gentle telling of the havoc wreaked by a tsunami, and very pretty illustrations. Not enough to terrify, but identifiable sense of connection to mama.
Marissa García
Nov 13, 2014 Marissa García rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grief, family, death, adoption
Waterworks.
Malorie Lofgreen
Feb 28, 2013 Malorie Lofgreen rated it really liked it
A tsunami hits a group of hippos in 2004, separating a young hippo from his mother. The hippo goes throughout the story trying to find her, and ends up getting rescued from his loneliness and sorrow. He soon becomes extremely attached to a very old male tortoise and refers to him as his new "mama". This true story introduces the touching stories of adoption to children and explains a tragedy in a light hearted way. A great heart-warming children's book!
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
I assume this about Owen and Mzee, I love reading about this unique pair and I'm familiar with Winter...looking forward to reading this book!

Update: This is the story of Owen, a young hippo, who lost his Mama but found a new Mama (or friend) in Mzee, an old tortoise. Illustrations are simple, yet detailed enough to tell this touching story.
Paula
Beautifully illustrated book by Jeanette Winter about the little hippo who lost his mother in the 2004 Tsunami but finds a new mama in Kenya in a tortoise. The story of Owen and Mzee. SInce there is only one word it would be great for the little ones and could involve participation to say the word mama.
Earl
Aug 24, 2015 Earl rated it it was ok
A simple but true story of how a baby hippo got separated from his mother during the 2004 tsunami in Asia and wound up befriending a turtle.
Thorn MotherIssues
A favorite for both our adopted daughter and foster children (ages 3-5), all of whom can read it to themselves and use the words and scenarios in their own play and to process their sadness about missing their families.
Julie Esanu
Great picture book about nature, tsunamis, and friendship. Pair with Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship for the non-fiction account of this story with photos of the hippo and turtle.
Tierra Garr
Jun 11, 2012 Tierra Garr rated it really liked it
This is a cute story about a hippo who was separated from his mother from the tsunami near Indonesia. He was rescued, and grew fond of a giant tortoise that he met at a park he was sent to.
Steph
Oct 30, 2013 Steph rated it really liked it
I think it's cool to read this IF you already know the story. It's a great companion book to the nonfiction Owen and Mzee story. Cute to read both of these stories! :)
Cynthia Buhler
Jun 08, 2009 Cynthia Buhler rated it it was amazing
This beautiful, heart wrenching book, uses only two words to tell a wonderful story. I love this book.
Amber
Oct 19, 2009 Amber rated it it was amazing
This book provides a great way to open conversations about loss and trauma with very young children.
Lauren Hahn
Jun 11, 2012 Lauren Hahn rated it really liked it
Really cute book! I like that this is an expository text that relies on pictures to convey the events.
Debrarian
Jun 24, 2009 Debrarian rated it really liked it
I liked Owen and Mzee better, but this is a good picture book rendition of a complex, heartwrenching story.
Rachel
Mar 15, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
About a baby hippo who looses his mother in a tsunami so he adopts a turtle at a zoo as his mother.
Karen Dransfield
Apr 13, 2015 Karen Dransfield rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read, picture-book
A lovely story about a lost hippo baby and what happens to him after the tsunami.
Sara Taylor-hughes
Jun 11, 2012 Sara Taylor-hughes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, weather
Perfect for kindergarten. Note from the author is great addition. Hippos. Tsunami
Allison
Jan 29, 2011 Allison rated it liked it
Shelves: t-l-306
Based on the true story of Owen and Mzee. Beautiful illustrations!
Christina
Jun 12, 2012 Christina rated it really liked it
True story using very few words...more information at the end.
Crystal
Jun 29, 2009 Crystal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book will break your heart...no words neaded.
GraceAnne
Apr 13, 2011 GraceAnne rated it really liked it
Read for professional review.
Danh Nguyen
Danh Nguyen rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2016
MsKnight
MsKnight rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2016
Michele Caracappa
Michele Caracappa rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2016
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