Bigfoot is Missing! by J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt, illustrated by MinaLima
Chronicle Books, 2015
Available: Hardcover, Kindle edition
Bigfoot is Missing! is no ordinary catalogue of cryptids and monsters. Former children’s poet laureates J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt have created fictional “found poems” for each creature. Each double-page spread is devoted to a different creature, but unlike many guides to creatures and monsters, there are no detailed descriptions. The pages are relatively uncluttered, with the majority of space devoted to colorful, stylized illustrations. The book’s design displays each poem in a different kind of media format: text messages, news advertisements, road signs, labels, tabloid headlines, television reports, and more. It’s no surprise that the illustrations and design are such a good fit; MinaLima has created every graphic prop used in the Harry Potter movies. Short paragraphs on the inside back cover of the book provide a brief description of each cryptid, from Bigfoot to the Beast of Bodmin Moor. The creatures come from all over the world, not just the United States: among others, the Mokele-mbembe hails from Africa, while the Lusca makes its home in the Caribbean.
If no one told you this was poetry, you’d just think it was an entertaining, clever, metafictional take on cryptids. Don’t let its location in the children’s department trick you into thinking only children will enjoy it– this is a perfect book to share with the creature enthusiast in your life, whatever their age. Highly recommended for children ages 4 and up.