Squirrel seeks Chipmunk: The Anti-Peter Rabbit?

Cover image of "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk"I’m not the only one at the library who loves David Sedaris. When I saw a new title of his appear on the “Just Ordered” feed on our website, I wasted no time placing a hold.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but neither did it fail to amuse me.  Sedaris has written a collection of short stories (illustrated by Ian Falconer, the genius creator of the Olivia picture books) told from the perspective of animals…if they were human. However, do not mistake it for a nice cutesy read like the stuff by Beatrix Potter. Some of the stories and the illustrations accompanying them are more than a little disturbing.

Sedaris is a clever man. This book  is a satirical observation of human thought, behaviour, and relationships, played out by household pets and common rodents. You can’t help but shake your head and chuckle at the ridiculous-ness of human nature at the end of every story. 

I also loved the fact that the stories were only a few pages long, each one easily devoured within minutes, squeezed in between other activities.

So what short stories have you enjoyed reading this summer?

3 thoughts on “Squirrel seeks Chipmunk: The Anti-Peter Rabbit?

  1. Michael A 18 January 2011 / 11:32 am

    I picked up Carl Nixon’s “The Fish & Chip Song” 2006 from my local library. I spotted it as my awareness was heightened by the Court Theatre production based on it. Similarly “The Raft” both a story here and a play a couple of years back with John Bach. I enjoyed a great deal of it – his characters are believable but not overly predictable. “The Raft” was particularly effective and in a few pages captured most of what the play offered. An easy book to dip in and out of – recommended.

  2. Claire 19 January 2011 / 12:15 pm

    I agree about the new Sedaris stories being “disturbing”. They’re VERY dark, and having an illustrator such as Falconer (whose images are associated with cuteness) makes them even more disturbing. Brilliant, though, and one of the quickest reads imaginable.

    Short stories really deserve more readers: they’re ideal for people with little time – that’s most of us these days. An NZ anthology I think is particularly good is Lost in Translation (declaration of interest: I was involved in its publication), with stories by ‘new’ and veteran writers.

  3. Rachael 19 January 2011 / 2:43 pm

    I’m like you, Oneder! Gotta love the “Just Ordered” feed from the library. My favourite story in this collection was the one about the bear whose mother died. Brilliant.

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