As everybody knows, a bigfoot likes his privacy, even if he is built to cuddle: snuggly, soft, and silky (at least those bigfeet like Barry, who evidently knows about bathing).
Chapman’s Sasquatch-esque creature Barry is a furry behemoth who attracts a large woodland following: squirrels, mice, badgers, rabbits, beavers, even owls, and a turtle, who come for a cuddle and “snuggle-buggle.” But Barry, though accommodating, sometimes feels overwhelmed: “I just want to be alone,” he mumbles to himself, careful not to offend. A sudden brainstorm suggests itself: a stand-in. After a ladybug, a porcupine, and a skunk are found wanting, Barry hires Bear. When Bear is presented to the cuddling horde, they rush at him—then past him, straight at Barry, who promptly gets bowled over and lands in the swamp. It’s amazing what the properties of swamp water will do to the qualities of cuddliness. In its clarity and good humor, Chapman’s story jells, and the whole cast are sympathetic souls. Who doesn’t like to cuddle? Who doesn’t like a little tranquility now and then? The artwork is snug, too, from the endpapers to the interior, featuring pages saturated with Easter-egg color, as well as others that highlight a bold image settled on a field of white.
A fully rounded, easily associative, and visually inviting story. (Picture book. 3-7)