Good Night, Zoo: A Children's Guide to Humanimal Spaces
“Good Night, Zoo: Human-Animal-City Relations in Children Books.” In Ulrich Gehmann and Martin Reiche (eds.), Virtual and Ideal Worlds Part II (Columbia University Press 2013), pp. 159-175.
19 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2013 Last revised: 6 May 2021
Date Written: 2013
Children’s books interpellate their readers and listeners into a vision of nature in which boundaries and dualities begin to shudder and collapse. Braverman’s essay focuses on Peggy Rathmann’s story Good Night, Gorilla to show how images of city and wilderness, captivity and freedom, home and zoo, and human and nonhuman animality can become fluid, thereby opening up possibilities for other, novel spaces to emerge. This book’s liminal scheme sets up the stage for the surprising hybrids that can occur when species meet.
Keywords: zoo, city, children's fiction, hybrids and chimera, liminality, captive and wild, spaces of utopia and dystopia
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