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Bigfoot Boy: Into the Woods by J. Torres & F. E. Hicks

Torres, J. & Hicks, Faith Erin. Bigfoot Boy: Into the Woods. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2012. Print.

As a child growing up in a small mountain town, the mystery of the Sasquatch captured my imagination. I searched for him whenever we explored in the woods behind our house, and imagined this creature watching us through the windows at night. So I was delighted to read this collaboration between writer J. Torres and illustrator Faith Erin Hicks, a graphic novel that will appeal to readers of all ages.

The story begins when ten-year-old Rufus is dropped off at his grandmother’s house for the long weekend. He becomes bored and decides to explore the woods, where he meets a girl named Penny and follows her deep into the woods. The discovery of a legendary totem, inscribed with a special word, provides Rufus with special powers and a magical adventure involving a Sasquatch that he will never forget.

The story, although simply told, conveys humour, mystery, and a sense of wonder as Rufus and Penny must overcome obstacles and scheming enemies. Character dialogue is authentic as to how a ten-year-old would speak, and the illustrations by Hicks enhance the humour and charm of the story. From Rufus, the freckle-faced lead, to the feisty Penny who does not slide into a stereotype of a First Nations character, their expressions and interactions feel real and the forest setting simultaneously magical and sinister.

Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Shelly Jobagy

Shelly Jobagy is a teacher-librarian and administrator at a K-9 school in Edmonton, Alberta.