Skip to main content

Big Foot and Little Foot by Ellen Potter, illustrated by Felicita Sala, 144pp, RL 3

I have long loved the gently peculiar perspective Ellen Potter brings to her kid's books (scroll to the end for links to my reviews of her books). Even so, I was a bit cautious when I picked up the first book in her new series, Big Foot and Little Foot, marvelously and generously illustrated Felicita Sala because cryptids, and Bigfoot especially, are close to reaching a saturation point in kid's books. But, I love cryptids and I love Ellen Potter's books and I particularly love a new series that is aimed at readers with approximately a third grade reading level. For years (honestly, the entire 23 years I have worked as a children's bookseller and elementary school librarian), I have struggled to find quality books at this level, so I always give them as big a shout out as I can when they come my way. And Big Foot and Little Foot deserves the biggest shout out of all.
Any concerns and skepticism I had about another cryptid book disappeared by the second page of Big Foot and Little Foot when I read this description of the bedroom of Hugo, the Sasquatch (they prefer this name over Bog Foot) of the title. Hugo and his family live in apartment 1G in the very back of Widdershins Cavern where a nice little stream runs right through Hugo's bedroom. Hugo, who dreams of sailing the seas someday, has a small, carved wooden boat that he sails in this stream, sometimes pretending the fish in the stream are sharks attacking his boat. Quickly, skillfully,  and wonderfully brought to life by Sala's illustrations and maps, Potter creates a complete, cozy and somewhat unexpected world for the Sasquatch living in the cold North Woods.

Young Sasquatch are called "squidges," and they all attend the Academy for Curious Squidges where they learn important life skills from their teacher, Mrs. Nukluk. While on a field trip to the woods to practice Hide and Sneak, the class encounters a human boy. Fascinated by the boy, Hugo doesn't follow Sasquatch protocol and is spotted - and the adventure begins. Hugo, saddened that he will never get another chance to see this human because all field trips have been cancelled for the rest of the year (because of him), sends his toy boat downstream and out his room forever. His is amazed when it returns, the next day, with a toy soldier perched inside! Hugo carves a small Sasquatch for the return journey and a correspondence begins. 

How Potter has these future friends meet is exciting, suspenseful and ultimately sweet. The Sasquatch of the North Woods prove to be a welcoming, accepting, generous community - something that every child needs to see over and over right now. I am so thrilled with this new series and completely charmed by Potter's creations and Sala's illustrations and have to believe that there is always enough room on the shelf for a Sasquatch like Hugo. 

 Coming in September!

More by Ellen Potter








Source: Review Copy

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started books4yourkids.com in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…