From the Reindeer Ewenki people of remote, mountainous Inner Mongolia comes a glorious tale about an aging hunter and the baby moose that follows him home. During an all-night hunting trip, Gree Shek kills a moose, not knowing she had calved out of season. Too young to be afraid, the baby trusts that Gree Shek and his loyal dog will be his protectors. Gree Shek names him Xiao Han ("Little Moose") and raises him with the Ewenki's reindeer herds.
Gerelchimeg Blackcrane's extraordinary narrative is gorgeously paired with Chinese sculptor/painter Jiu Er's exquisitely detailed illustrations, which rely on a simple palette of browns, greens and pinks to create resonating depth. An exceptionally affecting commemoration of unusual bonds, Blackcrane's formidable U.S. picture book debut should engender increased demand for Western access to more of his dozens of titles. Fair warning: tissues are an absolute must. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon