No doubt everyone has a tender spot for Bigfoot, or at least the lore and reality shows inspired by the hope for an existence of Sasquatch. Scott Magoon—who should be readily loved because of his hilarious art in Big Mean Mike—applies a little Aesop to his yarn about a “tenacious” kid named Ben, who stretches the truth about seeing Bigfoot in the pastoral foothills. Ben is not being naughty, he just wants there to be a Bigfoot so bad, he goes through great lengths to fabricate evidence, like footprints, to substantiate his claims. When the mysterious, furry book narrator tries to befriend Ben, it opens the door to life’s valuable lessons and soft pedals a sometimes scary subject matter for children.
Magoon’s scratchy, expressive illustration technique is irresistible, layered precisely here on birch trees, bicycle spokes, etc. There’s clever use of speech bubbles that capture hairy text and letters with eyes and fangs. Ben and his poor gullible family and friends sport Boardwalk Empire-style wardrobe choices, and Bigfoot’s tootsies are marvels to behold.
A stout, visually rich picture book, The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot! offers wisdom, suspense and yuks aplenty.
Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop