Preschool to Grade 2 (Kids Can Press, 2012)
Larf enjoys his quiet life in the woods, alone but for his pet bunny, Eric. He jogs, observes nature and, on Wednesdays, he does laundry. If he were ever discovered, people would never leave him alone, for Larf is a sasquatch, you see.
While he enjoys his solitary existence, Larf is drawn to the spectacle of a sasquatch appearing in nearby Hunderfitz. Sadly, Larf discovers that the small-footed character is nothing but a big fake. But what if Larf weren’t the only sasquatch drawn to Hunderfitz by the appearance? And what if Larf discovers that he’s not the only sasquatch after all?
In Larf, Ashley Spires has created another fun and engaging character. Kids will love the bright hand-painted illustrations and the ludicrous idea of a sasquatch who loves cheesy movies and eats vegetables with a knife and fork. As always, it is in the visual details that Spires’ humour is strongest – Eric, the bunny, being toted in a baby carrier, Larf’s mug that reads #1 Sasquatch, when he is supposed to be the only sasquatch in the world, and red Mary Jane shoes adapted for enormous sasquatch feet.
As an illustrator and a writer, Spires allows her stories to grow organically from sketches of the characters. In Larf, as you would expect, this results in a fun, character-driven story that more than makes up for any minor narrative flaws with an incredible amount of humour. And who doesn’t enjoy a couple of Larfs from time to time?
Review originally published in Canadian Children’s Book News, Summer 2012