Mar 21, 2009

Raccoons Are the Brightest People

by Sterling North

I always liked Rascal, which I read at a young age, so when I found this book at the local library as an adult, I picked it up with avid curiosity. In Raccoons Are the Brightest People, Sterling North describes the local wildlife that visited his backyard, his observations of and interactions with them. Most of the photos in the book are of raccoons, but he also talks about deer, foxes, birds, and other animals. While I enjoyed reading about his personal experiences with wildlife, I was actually disappointed at how much of the book contained material by other people. North said very little himself about raccoons in this book, but shared dozens of anecdotes and observations made by others. I felt like the voices of others overshadowed North's own, and it really lessened the value of this reading experience for me. If he'd left out the stories gathered from his friends and acquaintances, his own words would have barely been enough to add a chapter or two onto the end of Rascal. At least, that was my impression.

I find it curious that the title font on the cover of this book is a near match for that on My Beaver Colony. It must have been a popular look in the sixties. Or the books had the same designer... Anyway, this guy really did love raccoons.

Rating: 2/5         192 pages, 1996

Anyone else written about this book? I'll add your link.


Susan said...

I remember this book! It was really big in the 1980's - I'm sure its an older book. We had copies in the used book store I used to work at. I like the photo. I don't think I read this one - I was moving into fantasy then, and reading only it and mystery - but I've definitely seen this book before. I think your review is interesting, because I think Sterling North was a good writer, but sad that he didn't put much of himself, as you say, into this book. i might have to look for it one day for my kids, since we do have raccoons here in our neighborhood.

TheBlackSheep said...

I guess he did like racoons. All I could think of looking at that photo was they could tear his face off if they wanted to.

Jeane said...

Susan- it does have lots of interesting info about raccoons, I was just disappointed there wasn't more by the author himself.

Black Sheep- I had the same thought!