less than 1 minute read

Literature and Aging

Animal Family Life

The stories that best represent intergenerational animal family life are often written for the youngest children. Older characters are mostly benign, though sometimes absentminded figures. For example, in Margot Austin's Gabriel Churchkitten (1942), tiny Peter Churchmouse and Gabriel Churchkitten team up to outwit Parson Pease-Porridge. When sleepwalking he eats the food he has just laid out for Peter and Gabriel. Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny (1942) and Goodnight Moon (1947) feature older women who reassure young children that they will be nurtured no matter what. A very rich elderly lady plays an instrumental role in Jean de Brunhoff's The Story of Babar (1933). The love she feels for the little elephant is instantaneous and unqualified, as befits an idealized grandmother. The mother in Else Holmelund Minarik's Little Bear (1957) loves her cub unconditionally. Frances Badger is also lucky in her parents. In Russell Hoban's Bedtime for Frances (1960), they tolerate many trips to the bathroom and drinks of water but eventually insist that she settle down and go to sleep.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 3Literature and Aging - Redemptive Grandchildren, Animal Family Life, Orphans And Substitute Parents, Epic Adventures And Magical Transformations