Monday, May 09, 2011

Review: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

There's no question in my mind, David Sederis is an amazing writer. His book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk is proof. Somehow he effortlessly creates stories that let animals be animals, yet also give them human powers and concerns.

Take the first story: it's about a cat getting a pruning from a baboon. Which, of course, the cat is doing because he has a party coming up. And the poor baboon, every time he tries to strike up conversation with the cat, he steps in big time (Baboon: was at this wedding, and the couples wrote their own vows - yuck! Cat: Uh, we wrote our own vows -- that sort of thing). You wouldn't think this would work. Certainly my description doesn't do it justice. And yet, I found that I couldn't put the book down. Seceris' animal world is just too quirky.

There's only one itty bitty problem with the book: the stories are awful. Alright, awful is probably being too harsh. Sederis may have been going for dark humor - and I think he may have just hit dark. Each story seems more depressing than the last one.

I certainly have to give credit to Sederis - he's managed to find a clever way to poke fun at us humans, all while not making us the center of attention. But still, couldn't there have been at least a couple up beat stories?

For a book I didn't enjoy, I sure couldn't put it down. So, I guess I'd have to recommend it. If only to see the magic that Sederis can pull off. Just don't expect anything warm and fuzzy.

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