It’s lonely being the only one of your kind in the whole wide world. On a certain level, we can all relate to that, because there is no one else out there quite like you, but in Ashley Spires book Larf, she takes that loneliness to a whole new level. If that sounds a bit depressing don’t worry- she manages to make it funny, uplifting, and very, very random.
Deep in the north woods a Sasquatch named Larf lives a lonely existence. He’s a bit of an old soul, and doesn’t see much wrong with being alone or the only one of his kind. He has a pet bunny rabbit named Eric- a rather drab little creature with pop eyes and an unchanging expression- who keeps him company while he does laundry and goes for strolls. Larf doesn’t have to worry too much about people discovering him either- while it’s not exactly incognito to be a giant Sasquatch walking around in a scarf, people have a hard time believing in new things and therefore are apt to dismiss phenomena such as him.
One day, Larf’s world gets tipped upside down. The newspaper announces that in a nearby town another Sasquatch is to be making an appearance. The curiosity is too much for Larf. He dons what he thinks is a brilliant disguise, straps drab little Eric to his chest, and goes to find out about this other member of his species.
I didn’t find the illustrations to be particularly outstanding, but they do their job and keep the reader entertained. They are, after all, rendered in vegetable based watercolor, biodegradable ink, recycled paper collage, and ‘a dollop of Organic Sasquatch Detangler and Conditioning Shampoo.’ Essentially vegetarian and Sasquatch friendly-important because Larf is a strict vegetarian and well, a Sasquatch.
There are speech bubbles shown in this book, which usually I am not a fan of, but here I thought Spires did a fine job with them, and they do add a nice little touch.
To Squatch or Not To Squatch
This book does not have much of a “wow” factor for me, but it’s an enjoyable read. I found it to be quite humorous, and there are plenty of children who are bound to love Larf and maybe even Eric (maybe.) There’s also that nice subtle point about how you don’t have to see something for it to be real. Humans can be quite close minded, although we like to think we aren’t, and Larf kind of tosses that back at us like “I am a sasquatch, I can walk around right in front of you and you just think I am Aunt Mildred or a guy in a gorilla suit.” Hmm. Let us just hope that after reading this your child doesn’t see someone particularly hairy and yell out “Hey! There’s a Sasquatch! Mom, its LARF!”