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Zazu Dreams: Between the Scarab and the Dung Beetle

Published: 21 December 2016
Pages: 140
Print: color

Binding Type:
Trim Size: 8.5 x 11
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-63233-118-2
Related Categories: Environmentalism / Social Critique / Sustainability / Dream


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Zazu Dreams: Between the Scarab and the Dung Beetle


 A Cautionary Fable for the Anthropocene Era 

“Impressive.”            DR. NOAM CHOMSKY, author of Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media

“Compelling.”           EVE ENSLER, author of The Vagina Monologues

“Astonishing."           PAUL HAWKEN, author of The Ecology of Commerce

Zazu Dreams is a tale about the adventures of a Sephardic boy and his imaginary friend, a malamute husky, as they traverse the globe on a humpback whale across time and space, experiencing the marvels and mayhem of the relationship between humans and their environments (human ecologies). Crossing temporal dimensions and international borders, past, present, and future overlap through phantasmagorical encounters with historical figures like Jacques Cousteau, Spinoza, Rachel Carson, and ibn Sina.

For cross-generational audiences, Zazu Dreams includes lush illustrations and detailed endnotes (“The 21st Century Arcades Project”). Together, the narrative, images, and Arcades unravel the intersections between the sciences and humanities—global ecological extinction and cultural extinction of ethnic minorities. Zazu Dreams explores migration and transformation from waste to useful by-product—including toxic sludge to critical compost, desertification to oasis, cusp of extinction to restoration, body-phobia to biophilia. Symbiotic relationships from the natural world coincide with the histories of diasporic peoples from Iberia, North Africa, and the Middle East. The authors integrate two seemingly unrelated topics: Jewish and Arabic philosophies with consumer-convenience petro-culture. This cautionary fable incites transgenerational audiences to question the vast implications of the vital yet precarious concept of “sustainability.”

More Accolades:

Zazu Dreams is a “fascinating book. ... This is a real cosmic adventure—through space, through time, through the human heart.”
BILL MCKIBBEN, author of The Comforting Whirlwind

Zazu Dreams reclaims the power of language as both a poetic intervention into politics and storytelling and as a powerful force for reclaiming the radical imagination. Zazu Dreams moves across disciplinary borders, collapses genres, unsettles how we think about the planet and the need to keep it going, and inspires and energizes a sense of individual and social agency and collective hope as it unfolds. This is a brilliant book whose relevance cuts across generations, merges the space between adult and child, and gives the poetic as a force for struggle and hope a new and urgent political register.”
DR. HENRY GIROUX, author of Disposable Futures: Violence in the Age of the Spectacle

Zazu Dreams is “... absolutely fascinating with superb drawings and an innovative juxtaposition between a very serious subject and its narrative unraveling as a childlike adventure. ... [A] totally original concept for a sociologically relevant topic. ... The book is an extraordinary fusion of fanciful allegory, childhood perception, ecological prophecy and sociological parable ... all woven together in a profound tapestry of consummate scholarship. Richly enlivened by the imaginative illustrations of Micaela Amato, Zazu’s youthful curiosity propels him through a global succession of apocalyptic encounters and joyfully elevating adventures.  In the most poetic way, his ‘dreams’ embody a microcosm of global conflicts, premonitions, celebrations and spiritual aspirations. The unique accomplishment of this book is its capacity to simultaneously bridge the human condition through the innocent perceptions of a child and the world-weary apprehensions of an adult.  Zazu Dreams is definitely an enlightening story for all ages.”         JAMES WINES, Green Architect Founder of SITE architect

“[F]abulous! ... A powerful and visionary story wonderfully told and beautifully illustrated.”
DAVID W. ORR, author of Dangerous Years

“Alhadeff is remarkably unafraid ... [and] sees the world from a perspective that few others can achieve—addressing issues of toxic chemical exposure and the way the forces in power manipulate the population to fall in line. ... Her original thinking will have significant impact on society.”
DR. STEPHANIE SENEFF, Senior Research Scientist, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory 

Zazu Dreams thoughtfully and colorfully addresses the crucial need for young people to develop feelings for humanity and all life.”
DR. JAMES E. HANSEN, Director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Earth Institute, Columbia University

“An original and intriguing book, history meets the age of the anthropocene in a big bang in Zazu Dreams. Whimsical and instructive, fable-like and scholarly, this is a children’s book that spares the young neither the bad news nor hope for the work ahead. It is a phantasmagoric read for adults and a visual feast for all generations!”
DR. DALIA KANDIYOTI, author of Migrant Sites: America, Place, and Diaspora Literatures

“In Zazu Dreams: Between the Scarab and the Dung Beetle, Dr. Cara Judea Alhadeff elegantly tackles complex subject matter. A book for all ages, Zazu Dreams touches upon the complicated nature of human existence, from one end to another, with intelligence and beauty.”   JOSEPH JENKINS, author of The Humanure Handbook

“We’re in the midst of damaged life, and continuing with the same old modes of thought and imagination will almost certainly allow the damage to continue.  Zazu Dreams generates a new imaginary that looks beyond sustainability to genuine transformation.  Rather than survival as we are, Zazu Dreams raises the possibility of a creative and marvelous new world.”     DR. CLAIRE COLEBROOK, author of Death of the PostHuman

“A thoughtful, insightful, meaningful exploration of so many of the dimensions of what it is to be human in this world. Brilliant!”
THOM HARTMANN, author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight