Guest Blogger Dan on “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” by David Sedaris
[Hey Readers! Today, I’m turning it over to my friend Dan!]
I have always enjoyed David Sedaris’ autobiographical essays and have read most of his books, so I was excited when Jamie gave me his new book for my birthday and said “I expect you to read this and blog about it!”
With Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, Sedaris veers from his normal format. I hope that there isn’t much autobiographical material in this clever collection of irreverent fables that he describes as “A Modest Bestiary”. There is a recurring theme of comeuppance for the selfish and self-absorbed, often to a quite violent and tragic end.
All of the characters take the form of animals: a gossipy baboon hairdresser, an uppity lab rat, and a tabloid reporter parrot among them.
The stories are all wonderful, but there are a couple stand-outs. I was moved by the story of a bear who loses her mother and uses her orphan status as a means to garner attention from others, to an irritating fault. When she finally learns her lesson by finding someone with a more tragic tale than her own, it doesn’t end well for her.
Among the funniest are one involving a stork who struggles with how to explain to her young child where babies come from and the final story about an owl, a gerbil, and a hippo’s musical rectum. (If that final story’s description doesn’t persuade you to go right out and buy Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, then this is probably not the right Sedaris book for you!)
While Sedaris’ writing is in top form, this book would not be as entertaining without the brilliant illustrations of Ian Falconer. Falconer is best known for writing and illustrating the Olivia series of children’s books, but his often gruesome drawings here are not for the wee ones! They do, however, perfectly complement Sedaris’s stories.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy read that will make you laugh, pick up David Sedaris’ Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk today!!