Barnabas Bigfoot: A Close Shave by Marty Chan
Barnabas Bigfoot has a monster of a problem and it’s not his embarrassingly small feet. He and his tribe must stay hidden from the curious humans who want proof of sasquatches. On a berry-picking mission with the Hairyson sisters, this tiny-toed sasquatch shows himself to humans. His tribe may have to flee their mountain home, all because of his bad decision. Barnabas must lure the hunters away to save his fellow sasquatches, but he gets tangled in an even hairier situation.
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