Kirkus Reviews QR Code
LARF by Ashley Spires


by Ashley Spires & illustrated by Ashley Spires

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55453-701-3
Publisher: Kids Can

A modest tale of a Bigfoot.

Larf is one of those large, hairy, bipedal, apelike cryptids commonly known to humanoids as Sasquatch or Bigfoot. He is a retiring soul—as, evidently, are most Bigfeet. He lives deep in the northern forest with his pet rabbit, Eric, who is one of the more droll creatures—all deadpan, pop-eyed diminutiveness—to inhabit recent picture books. Larf thinks he is one-of-a-kind, but he reads that another Sasquatch is making an appearance in a nearby town. Fascinated, yet harboring the standard run of trepidations when about to meet a potential friend, he dons a minimalist disguise and shows up at the appointed time, only to learn that the Sasquatch is just a guy in costume ("It was all a BIG FAKE"). But someone else has appeared to meet that same Bigfoot, and, who knows, maybe there'll be a Littlefoot in a baby carriage. Spires hits squarely a number of nails here—not least that people wouldn't recognize a Bigfoot right under their collective noses—and her watercolor-and-ink artworks fairly captures the far-north woodlands and the enjoyably kooky characters of her tale. 

It won't set your hair on fire, but it's a story that exudes its own dry warmth. (Picture book. 3-7)