April 18, 2012


by Ashley Spires
Kids Can Press
32 pp.
Ages 3-7

There's no way anyone could think that the term "abominable snowman" is a synonym for a sasquatch when that sasquatch is Larf.  How could anyone possibly consider a seven-foot vegetarian who jogs, gardens and cares lovingly for his pet bunny, Eric, as anything but adorable. (Hmm.  Adorable? Abominable? They must have the two words confused.)  So what if he's big and elusive?  In these times of social justice, we should embrace his uniqueness and individuality and respect his privacy.

And, if Larf reads about another sasquatch and decides he'd like to meet another of his kind, so be it.  Solitude, after all, isn't always the only option.  So, Larf camouflages himself in a pair of jeans and a black beret, and, with Eric strapped into his front baby carrier, Larf takes the bus to the busy town of Hunderfitz.  But, meeting the sasquatch is not as Larf predicts, and disappointment ensues.  However, this sasquatch still helps fate bring companionship to Larf's life through an unexpected encounter.

Just as Ashley Spires' Binky the Space Cat (Kids Can Press, 2009) and Small Saul (Kids Can Press, 2011) have charmed their way into readers' hearts, so will Larf, the gentle giant of sasquatches.  Although Larf believes he is the only one of his kind, children will have heard about the terrifying Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, and Bigfoot whose size overrides any other descriptors other than vicious.  But Larf's size does not define him because his character is far too lovable to be impeded by his bulk.  Charmingly, Ashley Spires uses bright and unpretentious ink and watercolour (just like Larf himself) to illustrate his story.  But it's the details that will have readers searching for hints and hidden humour throughout, whether it be the declaration on Larf's mug or the very Canadian blanket he drapes across his lap.  Ashley Spires' Larf uses a light touch to illustrate how we should be ourselves but be open to new adventures that may enrich our lives in unpredictable ways.

1 comment:

  1. This looks adorable! Thanks for recommending it, I'll order it.