This is a delightful children’s picture book about a girl named Xylina (from the Greek for “Woodland Dweller”) who lives with her grandfather in the woods while her parents are overseas. During this time she learns about the plants and animals that inhabit the woods around her grandfather’s property. Curiously, her grandfather has a metal cut-out of a sasquatch on the property that was given to him by a neighbor.
One night, Xylina is awakened by a sound from outside. The sound turns out to be a sasquatch holding a baby of the same species in its arms who had a leg injury, which the girl and her grandfather set about trying to heal.
Over the next eight weeks, Xylina learns about “Squatchette” and her larger mother bigfoot as they spend time together. Eventually Squatchette heals up and disappears, though Xylina has a sneaking suspicion they will cross paths again.
The story is simple and sweet, but has an underlying message that we can all learn from: our relationship with the wild needs to be nurtured and taken care of. I also appreciate the depiction of the sasquatches as a non-threatening and natural presence in the woods that benefit from big-hearted humans with whom they share their environment.
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