Author: David Sedaris
Artist: Ian Falconer
Type: Fiction, short stories
Full title: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary
I read it: March 2013
This is a breezy little collection that was a good pick for my friend’s informal book club. All the fables are generally dark and cynical, but there is still variation. There is the comical “The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck” and “The Vigilant Rabbit,” the instructional “The Judicious Brown Chicken” and “The Crow and the Lamb,” the grim “The Motherless Bear” and “The Sick Rat and the Healthy Rat,” and the slightly affirming “The Squirrel and the Chipmunk” and “The Grieving Owl.”
There are unique illustrations that pop with red-orange to make the book reminiscent of children’s tales, although it is obvious that Sedaris’ view that all humans are selfish is clearly aimed at adults. The goal for the reader seems to be to avoid being any of these characters, and it is nice that you can take each story as simply or as many-layered as you would like. Note that the recent paperbacks are marked with the line “with one new story” on the cover, so do not miss out on the extra “The Vomit-Eating Flies” if you have the choice.