Kushtaka. Skunk Ape. Mogollon Monster. Yeti. Sasquatch.
Countries and cultures worldwide have their own names for what in this country we call Bigfoot, the elusive, mythical creature who allegedly roams remote areas of the globe. While we have studied, stalked, discussed, analyzed and purportedly photographed this nearly-9-foot-tall hairy beast, no one has actually proved its existence.
But we keep hoping that someone will.
Author/artist David Miller has done the next best thing.
He’s given us the Bigfoot seek-and-find book series which follows this otherwise elusive monster as he explores the world’s famous cities, landmarks and vacation destinations. He even travels back in time.
The first two books, “Bigfoot Visits the Big Cities of the World” and “Bigfoot Goes on Vacation,” (Fox Chapel Publishing; $14.95) are out this month. Yes, they are for children, but adults will find them fascinating, too. Miller’s illustrations and the accompanying challenge to find Bigfoot and other related items (think “Where’s Waldo”) are just too much fun.
Trying to nail down Miller for an interview is somewhat akin to tracking Bigfoot.
The author is a busy man these days. Until recently, he spent most of working hours as the marketing director of Fox Chapel Publishing in southeaster Pennsylvania. But when Miller finally showed his Bigfoot illustrations (several years in the making) to the publisher, “he loved them right out of the gate.”
Now, as word about his book series has spread, Miller finds that his time is consumed by all things Bigfoot.
My first question, of course, is, “Do you believe in Bigfoot?”
“Not necessarily,” Miller confesses, “but he’s still a part of my imagination. I’ve always been fascinated by Bigfoot. As a kid I spent a lot of time with my brothers in the woods of western Maryland, and I like to think there’s something out there. Maybe Bigfoot is traveling the world and exploring. That’s part of what inspired me.”
Miller also has filled his books with lots of fun facts about the places he illustrates. For instance, did you know that 320 baguettes are consumed every second in France? Or that there are more than 25,000 wires in the cables that support the Golden Gate Bridge? Or that the first passengers to ride in a hot air balloon were a rooster, a duck and a sheep?
“I want to share fun facts about these places because I still see kids struggling to learn geography and history,” Miller says. “I try to make the illustrations as accurate as possible. I really want children to learn about these cities. I want them to recognize these locations and remember them. I hear a lot from moms that they are learning something, too.”
Coming in the fall: “Bigfoot Spotted at World Famous Landmarks” and “Bigfoot Goes Back in Time.”
Visit www.foxchapelpublishing.com and click Children’s Books, or purchase on Amazon.
If you have a travel story and photos you’d like to share, contact E’Louise Ondash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
E’Louise Ondash is a veteran, award-winning journalist who was an investigative reporter, feature writer and columnist for the Times Advocate and the North County Times. She has written travel features for The Coast News since 2003.