Rufus is not really looking forward to a long weekend with his Grammy. I mean, he loves his Grammy and all, but what’s there for a 10-year-old boy to do while his Grammy watches soap operas and naps? Well, as it turns out, there’s lots to do!
After his Grammy falls asleep, Rufus ventures outside to the beautiful woods behind her house and meets Penny, the spunky girl next door who is not happy to see some stranger in her woods. When Rufus happens upon a sacred Q’achi totem and puts the totem around his neck, saying the word on the totem, “Sas…qua…tch…,” Rufus turns into Bigfoot Boy!
As Bigfoot Boy, Rufus rules the forest as a sasquatch, but there are other creatures lurking in the woods that aren’t happy a mortal human has found the sacred totem. They’ll do anything, including kidnapping Penny, to get it back. With the help of his trusty new friend, Sidney the flying squirrel, Rufus has got to save his friend and protect the totem — all before Grammy wakes up!
This fun, fantastical story by J. Torres and Faith Erin Hicks is a great combination of action, adventure, mystery and magic! Rufus and Penny are good foils to each other and each character has a distinct personality. Rufus is just as likeable when he is Bigfoot Boy and the cast of characters rounding out the story are a nice mix of funny and sinister. The turn at the end, which introduces characters that are vying for the totem, sets the book up for sequels. Into the Woods is a book that will definitely draw readers in with its wonderful story.
The charming and wonderful illustrations by the always stupendous Faith Erin Hicks really make the story fun to read. Rufus and Penny are well drawn in her signature style. They’re both so cute, readers will be forced to fall in love with them! Plus, the animals illustrated throughout are just as great — the funny flying squirrel and the scary pack of wolves are each drawn in a way that brings out their individual traits and personality. The book is beautifully colored and the vivid nature of the forest is brightly brought to life. Easy to read panels will engage younger and older readers alike and the word bubbles are clear and thoughtfully used.
What a great beginning to what is, I’m sure, going to be a fantastic series for anyone who loves a little magic mixed in with a trip to Grammy’s house.
Bigfoot Boy, vol. 1: Into the Woods
by J. Torres
Art by Faith Erin Hicks
Kids Can Press, 2012