PATTY CAKE by Susan Green


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Patty Cake is the baby gorilla who got caught in the middle, first between two squabbly parents (who broke her arm), then between two New York zoos which fought for custody. This ball-of-fluff narrative is written by the artist-observer who watched Patty for months: daily before the accident, intermittently during her convalescence, and regularly after her filmed reunion with parents Kongo and Lulu. A surprise birth and prime attraction, Patty Cake received massive press coverage during her early months in a Central Park Zoo cage and at the nearby hospital where she was taken for X-rays. Once the Bronx Zoo vets got their hands on her, they pronounced her in miserable condition, blaming her parents and keepers at the smaller, underfinanced city zoo. The bickering escalated in the press until an unbiased expert restored the healing gorilla to her despondent parents--partly because of Susan Green's opinion. Jane Goodall she's not: although a sense of the trio's daily life is conveyed, her accounting is amateurish, more catch-in-the-throat drama than behavioral catalogue. But for Patty's local following, it's bananas and cream all the way.

Pub Date: April 12th, 1978
Publisher: Richard Marek--dist. by Putnam