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  • Published: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2010.
  • Year Published: 2010
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: viii, 159 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 19 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780316038393
  • 0316038393

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Squirrel seeks chipmunk : a modest bestiary

by Sedaris, David.

There are currently 7 available

Where To Find It

Call number: 817 Se

Available Copies: Downtown 2nd Floor, Malletts Adult, Pittsfield Adult, Traverwood Adult

Additional Details

The cat and the baboon -- The migrating warblers -- The squirrel and the chipmunk -- The toad, the turtle, and the duck -- The motherless bear -- The mouse and the snake -- The parenting storks -- The faithful setter -- The crow and the lamb -- The sick rat and the healthy rat -- The cow and the turkey -- The vigilant rabbit -- The judicious brown chicken -- The parrot and the potbellied pig -- Hello kitty -- The grieving owl.

The author presents a collection of three animal-themed essays. In The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck, a group of complete strangers bitterly discuss the order of things within the animal kingdom. In Hello Kitty, a miserable alcoholic cat attends AA. In The Squirrel and the Chipmunk, two lovers are torn apart by their quarreling families.

Community Reviews

bizarre short stories

Bizarre is right. Dark stories.

Not great

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk is different than most of Sedaris’s books; rather than memoir, it is a collection of short stories centering on animals with human traits. The stories reminded me of fables, except that there were few morals, and it certainly would not be fit for children.

Though the concept is hilarious (as is Sedaris’s original title: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls), most of the stories did not make it there; it just wasn't funny enough. True, there were some stories like “The Cow and the Turkey” and “The Judicious Brown Hen” that made me laugh, but for each of them, there are two “The Migrating Warblers,” that weren’t worth reading.

I think I would have a different opinion had I listened to the audio book rather than reading a physical copy. Sedaris has performed a handful of these stories on the radio show This American Life, and I thought they were amusing there; Sedaris just has a way of making anything sound funny. Of course, had I gone with the audio book, I would have missed the wonderful illustrations done by Ian Falconer (best known for the Olivia series of picture books). And missing those would have been a shame.


I am a big fan of David Sedaris and was looking forward to his next novel. I admire his storytelling ability and his sense of sarcasm and wit. However, this book just didnt have the same effect on me. Except for the dark humor, it seemed like a children's story book with the pictures and animal stories. I was able to finish the book in a few hours. Reading any of his other novels is Definitely a better investment of time!

Weird and Violent

David Sedaris is best known for his humorous commentary and short stories. He is an excellent writer and I think it's a direct result of his honesty and unusual outlook. In Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, he's drawing deep from his unusual outlook and the result is bizarre and violent.

Some of the early stories got me laughing. I guess I could admire the situational set-up, the brief but effective character development and the moral at the end. This formula faded as the book continued and the stories got stranger and more cruel. I was on board at the beginning but skimmed the last few, being too weirded out to make it all the way.

I hope his next book gets back to his life and every day observations.

Not the best Sedaris

I'm a huge fan of Mr. Sedaris. He has me laughing my pants off most the time. (Me Talk Pretty One Day! Barrel Fever!) This book is definitely darker. Much darker. I enjoyed some of the stories, I think I laughed a few times, but I prefer the usual Sedaris insights to life and family.


I'm a fan of David Sedaris. I've read all his books and gone to see him speak. I say this because I like David Sedaris and think he's incredibly witty and funny, but I didn't like this book. Maybe the humor was too dark for me. If you enjoy stories involving facial maulings, eye gouging, and death by AIDS injection, complete with illustration, you might enjoy these stories. I did enjoy the story "The Grieving Owl," which as it turns out is the very last one in the book. I almost didn't make it there.

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