The Paper Menagerie

Hello!  Have you ever tried your hand at the art of paper folding?  Just look at the paper tiger on the cover of this e-book.  Imagine being able to fold paper animals like that.  A character in one of the stories from this book can fold amazing paper animals...

Title: "The Paper Menagerie."

Genre: magical realism

Time to read: about 30 minutes

Found in: A book by the same name--The Paper Menagerie.  This is a collection of short stories by Ken Liu.

Storyline: The story follows the narrator, Jack, through the first few decades of his life.  Jack has an up and down relationship with his mother.  When he is young, he is amazed by her ability to fold paper animals for him to play with.  As he grows older, though, he begins to feel embarrassed about the ways in which his mom is different from his friends' moms.  Then one day his mom is diagnosed with terminal cancer.  Will Jack be able to reconcile with her before her death?  He has almost forgotten about the marvelous paper animals that she used to make for him.  But when Jack's girlfriend finds an old box of these animals in the attic, Jack's heart begins to soften...

Illustrations: There are no internal illustrations, but the tiger on the book cover was designed, folded, and photographed by Quentin Trollip.

Notes: Since we are on the topic of "menageries," I thought you might like to see a few photos from my recent trip to the Minnesota Zoo.
coral reef aquarium

coral reef aquarium (again)

red panda--also known as the "fire fox"

in the butterfly garden

The Minnesota Zoo has a charming coffee shop called The Penguin Cafe.  It was a hot day when I visited the zoo, so I cooled down at the cafe with iced coffee and a mini caramel cheesecake.  Usually I feel like a whole slice of cheesecake is too much--the dense cake sits "heavy" in my stomach.  But this mini cheesecake was just the right portion, and it did not feel heavy at all.

I'll be linking up with T Stands for Tuesday to share this drink-related post.


  1. Gosh, when you started, I thought this was going to be a book on origami. It's too bad the tiger is the only folded animal. It sounds like a delightful story, though. I hope Jack was able to reconcile with his mother before her death. This actually sounds like a bitter sweet tale.

    Your photos of the zoo are fabulous. I think the red panda is my favorite. And that mini cheesecake looks good enough to eat. Yum. Thanks for sharing it and your iced coffee, as well as the photos from the zoo, the Penguin Cafe, and the Paper Menagerie with us for T this soon-to-be Tuesday.

  2. I thought as Elizabeth , that this was going to be about intricate origami folding, but what a storyline. Great photos of the zoo. Love seeing the sea creatures and animals and hope they are all well cared for.
    Thinking I need to make a cheesecake soon:) Happy T day!

    1. I think that the animals are well cared for. It's an AZA accredited zoo, and it's known for recreating the animals' natural habitats. The butterfly garden is also regulated by the Department of Agriculture.

  3. I did enjoy your zoo photos. And that little snack looks so yummy! I think even though I like to visit zoos going for cheesecake would a good plan too. Now I would also love to learn to be such an expert paper folder because that tiger is amazing. Hope you have a happy T day. Hugs-Erika

  4. What a wonderful zoo. Love that paper tiger, too. Your food looks wonderful, wow!
    Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos, happy T Day, hugs, Valerie

  5. beautiful shots of the zoo animals, i just love the red Pandas! the Origami tiger of this book cover Looks amazing, but makes me nervous just thinking to fold such delicate objects.
    would love to have such a Little cake for breakfast now;) happy t-day!

  6. The origami tiger is amazing! I enjoyed taking a trip to the zoo with you and the Penguin Cafe looks like a lovely place, your drink and cheesecake look delicious 😁. Wishing you a Happy T Day! J 😊

  7. the origami tiger looks great and all the lovely zoo photos are so interesting and the star for me is the lovely cheesecake - I wouldn't mind such a cake just right now!
    Happy T-Day!

  8. This a lovely post to read and wonderful photos from the zoo.
    The cafe has a wonderful name and I think your cheesecake looks delicious.
    Happy T day wishes.

  9. Good morning, I really enjoyed your post-gorgeous photos thanks for sharing Happy T Day Kathy

  10. I'm familiar with that author, but I don't read much in the way of short stories. I read his translation of The Three-Body Problem. I have done some simple origami but nothing nearly so elaborate as that tiger! I like cheesecake and can usually finish a standard-sized piece, but the size you show would be better, I think. Less intimidating ;)

    1. _The Three Body Problem_ was my introduction to Ken Liu, too. I was really impressed with his translation. I mean, I don't know a lick of Chinese, so I have no way of knowing how accurate the translation was. But the text just flowed so smoothly, and that is what impressed me. It made me curious to sample some of Ken Liu's original I did. :)

  11. That is a magnificent animal on the title page. I admire people with origami skills.
    The story sounds great. I worked at the hospice for many years and I remember there were books like this to help children who had a terminally ill parent.
    Minnesota zoo sounds fab. I like acquariums. Thank you for sharing the photos.
    And the cheese cake has made me hungry (it's nearly time for dinner here)
    Happy T-Day,

  12. Aaahhh you had me at paper folding.. if you remember i love oragami! So i enjoyed seeing the tiger... Never a fan of zoos although i realize their necessity.. Your cheese cake looks YUM!!! I might have had to have two of those!! Hugs! deb


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