Saturday, June 23, 2012


Title: Larf     
Author: Ashley Spires   
Illustrator: Ashley Spires  
Publisher: Kids Can Press 
Publication Date: April 2012 
Genre/Format: Fantasy/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: No one believes Larf exists, and he likes it that way. Larf, you see, is a sasquatch, the only sasquatch in the world (or so it seems). He has a very pleasant, and very private, life in the woods, where on any given day he might be found jogging, gardening or walking Eric, his pet bunny. But everything changes one morning when Larf discovers that another sasquatch is scheduled to make an appearance in the nearby city of Hunderfitz. What? That must mean he's not the only sasquatch in the world Excited by the prospect of having a friend to share hair grooming tips with (and let's face it, teeter-tottering alone is no fun), Larf disguises himself as a city slicker and heads for Hunderfitz -- where he's in for a couple enormous surprises. Ashley Spires once again shows her chops for creating irresistible, quirky characters and laugh-aloud stories and illustrations. Readers with little feet and big feet will fall head over heels for Larf. 
What I Think: I loved Larf after seeing the cover of this book. He just seems like such a nice sasquatch (although I've never met any sasquatch to compare him to.) Once I read the story, I still liked Larf. He's just a nice sasquatch who does his own thing and seems to enjoy his life. But when he finds out there is another sasquatch who exists, he wants to meet him. He could have a friend! Sometimes you don't realize what you are missing until you do something different. It reminded me of the Scaredy Squirrel series. He is so scared to doing something different and worried but then, when he does, it's not so bad. I love trying new things but it's not always easy.

Ashley Spires' illustrations truly add to Larf's story. This is a picture book that is so much more fun when you really pay attention to all of the illustrations. Her voice and the humor in the story is intensified when you take your time to really look at the illustrations and everything that is happening in the book besides the text. Larf can really be a great way to help introduce students to graphic novels. In graphic novels, there are so many clues and inferences going on in the art that students need to pay attention to. Larf has these elements in it so it would make a perfect book to transition from a picture book to a graphic novel. AND, even more exciting, Ashley Spires has an awesome graphic novel series, Binky the Space Cat. Students can read and look closely at Larf and then they can read one of the Binky books and notice how similar they are.
Read Together: Grades K - 5 
Read Alone: Grades 2 - 5 
Read With: Scaredy Squirrel (series) by Melanie Watt, Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires,
Snatch of Text:  
"Larf is a sasquatch. The only sasquatch, it seems.
He lives a quiet life in the woods with his bunny, Eric."

"Have you ever felt like
nobody knows you even
exist? That's exactly how
Larf feels. And he likes it
that way."
Reading Strategies to Practice:  Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative
Writing Prompt: Write about the first time you met one of your close friends. What did you have in common? Write about a time when you did something new for the first time.
Topics Covered: Identity, Adversity, Loneliness, Friendship

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