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Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11
Trade paper / 64 pages
Review of Barnabas Bigfoot: A Close Shave
Barnabas Bigfoot: A Close Shave is the first volume in a new series by much-loved Edmonton-area author Marty Chan. The premise is that sasquatches really do exist, gracefully hiding from — and cleaning up after — “baldlaces” (humans) in the world’s mountain ranges. When, on a dare, a young sasquatch reveals himself to some humans camping near his home, he sets in motion a chain of events that may put his entire clan at risk.
This is a light-hearted, quick-paced adventure story with enough chases, traps, escapes, and nefarious bad guys to satisfy any reader. There are also lots of squishy, gross details to underscore the physical comedy and reinforce the fish-out-of-water motif. Chan manages the story well, offering a reading experience that works on several levels and keeping plot interest high without giving up character development, language play, or moments of touching beauty between father and son.
Barnabas is a loveable character whom readers are sure to identify with. Although he is a sasquatch and lives in a unique society, Barnabas feels just as self-conscious as and argues with his parents just as much as any human kid. The peer-pressure situations that set the plot in motion should also feel readily identifiable. The story ends with a dramatic cliff hanger that is certain to have readers looking forward to the next book in the series.
Barnabas Bigfoot: A Close Shave is likely to be a hit with a wide audience and will make a versatile independent novel for the elementary classroom.
Thematic Links: Sasquatch; Adventure Stories
Other Books in the Barnabas Bigfoot Series: