There’s a scene in this collection of short stories, just a few pages from the end, where an owl and his date discuss mammalian breastfeeding and its bearing on sexual orientation. I wish I could reproduce it here, as it is very, very funny, but unfortunately I can’t because it is completely inappropriate for general audiences.
That is David Sedaris in a nutshell: very funny, and very inappropriate. His past efforts have mostly tended toward memoir, but this time the book is exclusively fictional, featuring sixteen animal stories that are in no way suitable for children. For instance, there is the story of the two lab rats: the cheerful one is convinced that physical ailments are a symptom of negative thinking, while the gloomy one thinks his cancer might have an external cause. And there is the story of the Vietnamese Potbellied Pig who must grapple with racism and weight prejudice when he becomes director of an art museum. For a small investment of time—90 minutes, maybe?—you’ll get a gratifying dose of irony, satire, and acerbic social commentary.
Best of all? This book is not merely a collection of David Sedaris short stories. This book is a collection of David Sedaris short stories that is illustrated by Ian Falconer! Ian Falconer is the author and illustrator of the Olivia picture books. They star a pig named Olivia, and they are read by young children. Learning that Ian Falconer was the illustrator of a David Sedaris book was like discovering that Shel Silverstein wrote for Playboy. The artist behind the good clean fun of Olivia, it transpires, is uniquely suited to drawing rabbits with weapons and minks without pelts. Sedaris and Falconer together are brilliant. It’s Aesop on acid.
Check the WRL catalog for Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk