Bob and Peggy Bishop of Orland have not exactly met Bigfoot, but they can dream, can't they? What they have done is write a colorful story for kids ages four through eight called "Bigfoot and Joshua" ($9.95 in paperback from www.bigfootgifts.com). The story features full-color illustrations by the inimitable Steve Ferchaud of Paradise.
According to an authors' note, Peggy Bishop "is a retired kindergarten teacher" and Bob Bishop "has created and distributed Bigfoot souvenirs/gifts for more than twenty years." When I accessed it, their Web site was a work in progress, but offered not only the book but a "Bigfoot lives" pin and decorated shot glasses.
The story begins with young "Joshua, his sister Emily, and his Mom and Dad . . . going on a camping trip to the mountains." Camp setup is fun, but "that night Joshua told his family that Bigfoot lived in the nearby forest. Emily laughed and said there is no such thing as Bigfoot. Joshua knew she was wrong and he was going to find Bigfoot."
The next day Joshua slips away into the forest. When Joshua's parents find him missing, they call a Forest Ranger. "Emily told the Ranger that she believed her brother went to look for Bigfoot. Emily asked the Ranger about Bigfoot. He told her that a lot of people believed they had seen Bigfoot in the nearby forest. They said Bigfoot was very big, hairy and smelled badly."
The search is on for Joshua. As others join, Joshua himself is lost and scared. Suddenly he hears a noise, and there's a terrible stink. "Joshua knew that Bigfoot . . . was sometimes called the Skunk Ape." And then there's a giant foot. Bingo!
Bigfoot gets Joshua safely back to camp under cover of darkness. No one believes his tale the next day, of course, and Joshua wonders if the whole adventure was nothing but a dream. But not so. There are those--footprints.
A section of questions and answers in the back of the book tells youngsters that the story is not true, but it could have been ("if there was a real Joshua and a real Bigfoot") and that no one knows for sure if Bigfoots are real. One can dream, can't one?