Zazu Dreams: Between the Scarab and the Dung Beetle, A Cautionary Fable for the Anthropocene

by Cara Judea Alhadeff, PhD

“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 “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 is a fascinating story that launches a new genre of book called edutainment. Amazing Research!” ARUN GANDHI, Founder/President, M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence / Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi

“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 bursts forth from its cover, showering the reader with art, song, language, spirituality, joy, and history. In the spirit of Le Petit Prince, the door to adult reflection is opened by a child guide. With the query, “Who needs imaginary monsters or giants or evil empires when corporations like Nestle and PepsiCo, Merck and Monsanto destroy everything in their path?” Zazu Dreams challenges us with the notion that knowledge of evil, even for the very young, is the clearest path to good. From climate change to Big Oil, war to slavery, Zazu faces the worst of humanity, while simultaneously basking in the beauty that constantly amazes and surrounds, teaching that we must live in harmony with and as caretakers of this earth and all upon it, if we wish the same in return. Three generations take us on a journey to be enjoyed by all ages. A grandmother’s artwork joins a mother’s storytelling to create an adventure for her son into what it means to be human that is unrestricted by space, time or prejudice, only his—and through him our own—limitless imagination.“ ANTONIA JUHASZ, author of The Tyranny of Oil.

“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


“Cara Judea Alhadeff is remarkably unafraid to face up to the controlling influences of the chemical industry on the US government, causing great harm to our nation’s children who are suffering from exposure to chemicals in their food, water, and vaccines. Alhadeff 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 towards unreasonable and in many cases unethical goals. Her original thinking will have significant impact on society.” DR. STEPHANIE SENEFF, Senior Research Scientist, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

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

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

“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

“…very originally crafted and beautifully illustrated…” DR. KAREN BARAD, author of Meeting the Universe Halfway: quantum physics and the
entanglement of matter and meaning.

“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

“Every thought, word and action we put forth, no matter how tiny or huge, whether in the streets or in offices, underground or above, either hurts or helps the wave of prosperity to ensure a bright future for humanity, and for all life on this planet & beyond. Zazu Dreams is a beautiful example of keeping our work and our play focused on our most crucial mission, securing our survival and our freedom. Let every breath we take help that wave.” GREGORY “SHKG / HUMPTY-HUMP” JACOBS, Digital Underground

“Zazu Dreams is a truly magical tale for people of all ages and all faiths (or none)—a magnificent way to introduce children to the reality of the environmental crisis while simultaneously teaching some of the deep spiritual messages that are the common heritage of humanity. Your life and your children’s lives will be greatly enriched by reading (and studying) this amazing story and its accompanying commentary!” RABBI MICHAEL LERNER, author of Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation