Saturday, November 27, 2010

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, by David Sedaris

(hb; 2010; illustrations by Ian Falconer)

From the inside flap:

"If animals were more like us,

if mice kept pets and toads could cuss,

if dogs had wives and chipmunks dated,

sheep sat still and meditated,

then in the forest, field and dairy

you might find this bestiary,

read by storks, by rats and kitties,

skimmed by cows with milk-stained titties.

'I found this book to be most droll,'

might quip the bear, the owl, the mole.

Others, though, would be more coarse.

'Bull,' could say the pig and horse.

As to the scribe, they'd quote the hen:

'Trust me, he's no La Fontaine.' "





Review:

Grim morality-toned book that looks like a kid's book, but isn't.

Falconer's stunning illustrations amplify the effect of Sedaris's short, sharp 'animals with anthromorphized motives' stories, from the bleak "The Crow and the Lamb", "The Vigilant Rabbit" and "The Sick Rat and the Healthy Rat" (with their egregious, manipulative and self-righteous villains) to the comparatively gentle and sublime "The Parenting Storks" and "The Grieving Owl".

This book isn't for the faint of heart, but it should be read by as many people as possible. There's more than a bit of ourselves in these fickle, purblind, judgmental and pernicious animals, more than most of us would probably like to admit.

This is one of my favorite reads of late -- worth owning.

7 comments:

Stranger said...

Ooh! I love Falconer and Sedaris. I didn't realize they teamed up for this book. It's now on my wish list.
Great review!

repressedsoul said...

Hehee I'm getting over the sheep meditating...so that's what they do in my garden Steve!! Excellent work my friend with a heady touch of irony. Loved it by pub light ;)

L.L. Barkat said...

Makes me smile. And think... what kinds of books ARE for the faint of heart? Would they ever be worth reading? :)

Asobime said...

This is hysterical...and a must read/wish list.

Lady Nyo

Steve said...

@L.L. - Good point. :)

Jingle Poetry said...

beautiful review.

Jingle Poetry said...

http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/2010/11/poetry-potluck-nature-plants-creatures.html

Dear poet, welcome join Jingle Poetry Potluck…
First time participants can link in 1 – 3 old poems, or poems unrelated to our theme…
We value your contribution and cherish your talent!
Awards are to be assigned...
Hope to see you soon,
xxx