Allie nicely proposed I return to these pages with an update about how David Sedaris’s new book and I got along. If you like grisly humor, heavily anthropomorphized  animals, and riffs on the absurdity of moral social structures, you’ll love it. I finished each chapter with a wrinkled nose and a faint, creeping sense of gagging. Take the story of the lamb and the crow. The crow chats the lamb up, suggests she try mediation to pass some time, and darts in for the lamb’s baby’s eyeballs while the ewe happily takes the crow’s advice. Not my type of visual.

David Sedaris has always hinted that he obsessives over the macabre – illustrated books of obscure anatomy, the fine art of taxidermy. So it’s really not a surprise that the “delightful” in his mind is more delightful grotesque than delightfully lovely. The stories also rely heavily on the idea that imagining animals doing really human things – like conniving or gossiping – is reliably funny.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk is a sold as a bestiary, an old word that means a collection of tales about beasts that is vaguely moralizing. They printed it to be a gift-save-it-for-the-grandchildren book (probably ironically), so the paper is heavy, it’s size-cute, full of illustrations by Ian Falconer (who illustrated the Olivia children’s series, if you’re wondering where you’ve seen that grayscale + one vivid color combo before) and the font is big. It sells for $21.99 (which is not a very ironic price, really, is it?).

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