title: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk [support an independent bookseller and purchase at Strand]
author: David Sedaris
illustrator: Ian Falconer
genre: short stories/fiction
source: New York Public Library
If Rudyard Kipling and Aesop had been able to spawn, their hypothetical offspring would have LOVED this short story collection.
Sedaris’ short story collection is hilarious and poignant, bizarre and familiar, all at the same time. A few highlights:
- The Toad, The Turtle and The Duck: three title characters wait in line a ruminate over the irritations that accompany bureaucratic formalities.
- The Parenting Storks: explores how storks answer the inevitable question: “Where do babies come from?”
- The Faithful Setter: deals with infidelity and sexual mores among canines
- The Grieving Owl: an owl, befriending a hippopotamus with leeches living in her anus, comes up with an interesting solution to her problem, which involves a gerbil…Richard Gere may have been a source of inspiration on that one…
Loved this book. It was perfect for my morning commute; not only was each story compact, but Sedaris’ clever story lines and sometimes caustic characters brightened my morning mood.
Rubric rating: 8. Sedaris is one of my favorite New Yorker contributors and I’m definitely looking forward to exploring the rest of his work.