Tuesday, March 27, 2012
LARF, written and illustratred by Ashley Spires. Kids Can, 2012. $18.95 ages 6 and up
once or twice. A hairy, seven-
foot-tall, scarf-sporting manbeast
is pretty hard to miss.
But luckily for him,
people rarely believe in
anything new and strange.
And LARF is definitely
I always look forward to something new from Ashley Spires. She has a great sense of humor and a storytelling ability that is to be admired. In her newest tale, we meet LARF, a bigger than life man with a soft heart and a penchant for peace and quiet. Big? Yes! Well, he is a sasquatch.
He is big and he is hairy and he looks a bit like an ape, with all the human qualities one might want in a main character. He likes being by himself. He lives deep in the forest with his pet bunny Eric for company. He is pleased with his life and has no need to bring attention to himself, despite the fact that he is a bit of a celebrity...being the only Sasquatch in the world.
When he reads that another of his kind is to make an appearance in a nearby community, LARF is intrigued and a slight bit apprehensive. He decides to make the short trip to see 'the other one'. A friend might be a nice addition to his fairly solitary life. Not wanting to be singled out, or recognized, he dons a disguise that he is sure will not attract any attention (including a bunny shaped backpack). Upon arrival he sees that said Sasquatch is a guy in a costume...a BIG FAKE!
As often happens LARF is not the only one interested in a new life form. It turns out that someone looking very like him, with feminine attributes, is also fascinated by the poster proclaiming a monstrous town visitor. She and LARF meet, and we are left to wonder if there might be a shared tale in their future.
There is so much fun in the illustrations, including the gullibility of the attendant humans who do not seem to recognize a large, apelike being among them. The speech bubbles are great. The setting is perfectly drawn to accommodate the reclusive nature of the creature at the center of the drama. I am sure you will find yourself rooting for LARF and his new lady. It's entertainment for the whole family.