Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Larf





I love unusual children's books. The cover on this one makes it very apparent this is a winner. Even before we opened the book, we had a good laugh at the name Larf. Then we made up some rhymes, because Larf obviously rhymes with some other funny words. Only then did we settle down to read the book. 


Larf is a hairy, seven foot tall sasquatch. As the general public tends to be alarmed by sasquatches, he has wisely chosen to live a quiet life in the woods with his little bug-eyed bunny, Eric. For the most part, he's happy with his solitary life, but sometimes he longs to meet someone who understands him.


One morning, Larf is shocked to read in the newspaper that another sasquatch is scheduled to make an appearance in a city near him. After some careful deliberation, he decides he cannot pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. One thin disguise (short pants, a red scarf, and a beret) later, Larf is on his way. En route, he imagines what this fellow sasquatch might be like, alternating between being apprehensive and excited. 

To Larf's utter disappointment, the other sasquatch is just a regular sized dude in a fur suit. A big fat faker. Larf resigns himself to returning to his quiet life when he looks up to the surprise of a lifetime. And this time she's the real deal - no zipper in her fur suit, and her feet rival Larf's in size. Sigh. And that is the story of how Larf met Shurl, and probably went on to lead a slightly less quiet life.

There are tons of very funny, unusual details in the illustrations, but my very favorite is how Larf straps Eric the bunny into a carrier on his chest for the trip, a la Bunny Bjorn. Eric is free to look around, but his little arms and legs dangle down helplessly. Ha! Ashley Spires previously wrote Small Saul, which was also delightfully quirky.

Review copy provided by Kids Can Press. 
 

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