The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Argentina

Dentro de una cebra

(Inside a zebra)

Chirif, Micaela (text)
Moriconi, Renato (illus.)
Buenos Aires: Limonero, [2018]. – [40] p.
ISBN 978-987-45988-8-2

Light  | Shadow  | Inner world  | Self-perception  | Picture book

Reading age: 8+

White Ravens issue: 2019


What’s special about this book is that its text is hermetic and puzzling, but at the same time open and conducive to many interpretations. The first-person narrator explains that for a time he lived inside a zebra, until the zebra asked whether the two of them ought not “move on”, at which point they flew away into the clouds. What this zebra is – an actual animal, or a space, a location, or a particular mental attitude, an emotion, a dream… – remains unclear. The answer is irrelevant, though. It is this very ambiguity that makes Micaela Chirif’s text captivating: No explanation is given, no resolution is offered, which is why readers must define its meaning – or perhaps its lack thereof – for themselves. Renato Moriconi’s pictures, black watercolour on white and orange backgrounds, offer no further guidance. Rather than explain the words, they instead offer an artful exercise in confusion of black-and-white stripes and alternating light and shadows that play on light and dark, on inside and outside.