Looking for Miza: The True Story of the Mountain Gorilla Family Who Rescued One of Their Own
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Looking for Miza: The True Story of the Mountain Gorilla Family Who Rescued One of Their Own

by Craig M. Hatkoff, Juliana Lee Hatkoff, Isabella Hatkoff
     
 

Miza is a baby gorilla. This is her story.

In a magical place called the Congo, in the beautiful forests and jungles of Virunga National Park, lives a young female mountain gorilla named Miza. She was just like any other baby gorilla, riding on her mother's back, playing, taking naps. Then, one day, when Miza and her mother were out searching for food, Miza's

Overview


Miza is a baby gorilla. This is her story.

In a magical place called the Congo, in the beautiful forests and jungles of Virunga National Park, lives a young female mountain gorilla named Miza. She was just like any other baby gorilla, riding on her mother's back, playing, taking naps. Then, one day, when Miza and her mother were out searching for food, Miza's mother disappeared, leaving her baby alone and frightened. Miza's father, a fierce silverback named Kabirizi and the leader of Virunga's largest family of mountain gorillas, set out to find Miza. The Congolese rangers, who dedicate their lives to protecting the gorillas, were

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Adding to their books about animals who respond to dire situations with inspiring behavior, the Hatkoffs (Owen and Mzee) team with the conservation director of Wildlife Direct, Kahumbu, to describe how a 31-member mountain gorilla family mobilizes itself to rescue and then raise Miza, orphaned under mysterious circumstances before she is two. The story is more ambitious than any the Hatkoffs have previously told, and they only partly fulfill their crowded agenda: explaining the dynamics of a gorilla family and the needs of the young; explaining the role of park rangers; and explaining the danger of extinction (the mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Miza's family lives, make up 380 of the world's 700 remaining mountain gorillas, and they are threatened by poachers, people who steal coal or lumber from the park, and militias). The photos vary in quality: a few are crisp, but sections of a number of photos look bleached out. Kids will feel the emotional impact, but they will also hear the authors straining: "[Miza's story] also reminds us of the adage, 'Seek and ye shall find,' " they conclude. "And that is the true story of looking for Miza." Ages 7-up. (Oct.)

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Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
A missing toddler, whether human or primate, is cause for great concern. In the vast forests and jungles of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, baby Miza and her mother, Lessinjina are missing from the family group of gorillas. Park rangers rush to the mountain camp of the gorillas, only to find that the head of the family, a silverback named Kabirizi, is also missing. While searches scour the mountain, it is not until several days later that Miza returns… found and brought back to safety by Kabiriza. Sadly, Miza's mother does not return, and no trace of her has ever been found. This heartwarming photo essay captures not only the drama of the loss and return of little Miza but also the dedication of the rangers who work tirelessly to maintain the safety of the dwindling gorilla population. Woven into the narrative is information about the habits and habitat of these primates. As they did for Owen and Mzee, unlikely friends after the tsunmai in Indonesia, and Knut, the abandoned polar bear raised by a human, the authors tell another amazing story of animal rescue. The authors hope to bring the plight of these beautiful and endangered animals to light. Youngsters will be touched by the story and relieved by the happy ending, and older readers will hopefully read the deeper message. Remarkable photos show the gorillas in their natural environment and who could resist the cover shot of Miza? Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

In June 2007, two rangers in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo discovered that a young mountain gorilla and her mother had disappeared. Although human efforts to locate the pair proved unsuccessful, Miza's father, Kabirizi, a huge silverback that heads the family, found her and brought her back home. Miza's mother never returned. The authors provide general information about the gorillas' lives and the numerous threats to their survival. Engaging full-color photos will hold browsers' attention and may stimulate interest in these animals. However, because the details of Miza's disappearance and rescue are unknown, the authors can only speculate about pieces of the story, weakening the overall presentation. Impressive photos plus more information can be found in Seymour Simon's Gorillas (HarperCollins, 2000). For older readers, Pamela S. Turner's Gorilla Doctors (Houghton, 2005) would be a first choice.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545085403
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
10.60(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
920L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author


Craig Hatkoff is the co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival and of Turtle Pond Publications. Both Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship and Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship are New York Times bestsellers. He lives with his wife and their two daughters in Manhattan.

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