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Literature / Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

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Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - or to give it its full title, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary - is a collection of animal fables by American humorist David Sedaris. It can be seen as a Spiritual Successor to Aesop's Fables, although if anything the morals and the way they play out is even more cynical. With gorgeous art by veteran children's illustrator Ian Falconer, the book could make a tempting gift for young children. Shoppers are strongly advised to read it through before making that call.


Tropes present in these stories:

  • Beast Fable: The central conceit of the collection.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Filled with cute talking animals who are kinda racist, violent, and generally unhappy.
  • Delivery Stork: Parodied in "The Parenting Stork", wherein a mama stork teaches her chick that mice deliver baby storks. On balance she doesn't seem to be any better or worse a parent than her sister, who teaches a more realistic view of sex.
  • Eye Scream: At the end of "The Crow and the Lamb".
  • Fantastic Racism: Seen throughout. In the first story a baboon hairdresser connives a bigger tip from her cat customer by feigning a hatred of dogs.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: "The Mouse and the Snake" is a variation on this old Aesop, although in this case the aggressor never made any claims or promises.
  • No Accounting for Taste: The Faithful Setter and his wife.
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  • Predation Is Natural: Occurs in many of the stories. Predatory characters mention various rationalizations for their Carnivore Confusion.
  • Properly Paranoid: Deconstructed in "The Vigilant Rabbit".
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The Squirrel and the Chipmunk.
  • Weight Woe: The Pig.


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