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Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 18:07:33 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) "Petting Zoo"

Matthew Davis wrote:
>I suspect the book you're thinking of is "Danny and the Dinosaur" and its
>subsequent follow-ups by Syd Hoff.
>"Petting Zoo" struck me as Wolfe working in the Ray Bradbury vein, but maybe
>that's just me.

I went to the library to check.  Yep, that's the one.  Thanks!

Danny/Dinosaur, alliterative like Rodrick/Rex.  Danny says, "Let's go."
The adult who sees them and stares is a policeman who sees Dinosaur stop at
a red light.  Later on Dinosaur gives rides to all the kids that are
Danny's friends.

So it is this book, plus Calvin of "Calvin & Hobbes" (with his
city-destroying monster daydreams) or Bart Simpson (Bart buys a sponge
t.rex from a bubblegum machine, and as he puts the water from the garden
hose on it he has visions of it becoming life-sized) or Dennis the Menace.
The boy single-handedly creates a monster ala Jurassic Park but the
creature is really just a big Barney and that's okay.  But the petting zoo
is sad, and both characters are sad for each other (but not sad for

Hmm, Bradbury.  From my perspective, Bradbury stories about childhood are
either nostalgic for a real (more authentic) past (Bradbury's childhood
years) or dread for a nightmarish present/future from around 1960 onward
("The Playground," "The Little Assassin," eek, these two are quite

So "Petting Zoo" would be an inversion of Bradbury (at least my sense there
of): nostalgia for the future from a point a few decades later.  Definitely
a sense of things being "more authentic" in the earlier stage, even though
we think it is funny for how much less-authentic it is from our situation.
A funny story, really funny.



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