Cover image for My bison
Title:
My bison
Uniform Title:
Bison. English
ISBN:
9781616898861
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (some color) ; 28 cm
Summary:
In a clearing by the forest, a little girl befriends a bison. Each winter they meet, sit by the fire, and share stories or simply enjoy the silence together until it is time for the bison to rejoin his herd in the spring. Their bond deepens as they grow older and the years go by, but one winter her bison does not return. After searching for him in the woods, the little girl, now a grown-up, comes to understand that though her bison is gone, he will also always be with her. Gaya Wisniewski's evocative charcoal-and-ink illustrations, enriched by the gradual addition of blue watercolor, masterfully convey this tender, affecting story of friendship and understanding the passage of time.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Copies
Status
Searching...
Book PICTURE BOOK WIS 1 1
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

In a clearing by the forest, a little girl befriends a bison. Each winter they meet, sit by the fire, and share stories or simply enjoy the silence together until it is time for the bison to rejoin his herd in the spring. Their bond deepens as they grow older and the years go by, but one winter her bison does not return. After searching for him in the woods, the little girl, now a grown-up, comes to understand that though her bison is gone, he will also always be with her. Gaya Wisniewski's evocative charcoal-and-ink illustrations, enriched by the gradual addition of blue watercolor, masterfully convey this tender, affecting story of friendship and understanding the passage of time.


Author Notes

Born into an artistic family, Gaya Wisniewski studied illustration at the Saint-Luc Institute in Brussels. While teaching drawing at Le Wolf, a center for children's literature in Belgium, she fell in love with storytelling. My Bison is her first book in English. She now lives in France.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2--"The first time I saw him, it was springtime. I was walking in the tall grass. My mother picked me up so that I could see him. 'Look!' she said. 'He's back!'" So begins a lifelong friendship between a girl and a bison. The first time he leaves, she is lonely without him. But the bison returns every winter. He and the girl share stories of their time apart by the fire. He is, most of all, a good listener. The moody charcoal-and-ink illustrations poignantly depict the tenderness between them. The girl and bison grow old together until "one winter, my bison didn't come. I looked for him for a long time. In the forest, I felt like a little girl again. But I didn't find him." The now old woman returns home with a heavy heart. "And in my heart I heard him say, 'I am in every single spring flower, every sound in the forest, and every snowflake.' He was always with me. He had never left." This gorgeously illustrated, gentle story is a reminder about the power and importance in the connection between humans and nature, and how one is never alone when one is with nature. VERDICT A quiet, unique book that deserves a space on library shelves.--Megan Kilgallen, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn


Publisher's Weekly Review

This quiet tale by artist Wisniewski imagines a small girl's friendship with a bison. Her mother introduces them: "Look!" the mother says to her daughter, who clings to her neck. "He's back!" The animal stands in tall grass, his bulk and horns visible. Wisniewski draws in charcoal and ink with occasional wisps of blue and brown; scuffed strokes soften the figures. The bison leaves for the summer and reappears faithfully every winter. The girl's compact, stumpy shape contrasts deliciously with his huge mass. In one vignette, she sits in a small blue armchair across from the animal, who's curled comfortably on the floor before a small cup of steaming tea. She buries her head in his shaggy coat: "We were never cold in the snow." Time passes, and one winter, the bison doesn't return. The girl, now an old woman, is bereft, but his presence endures. "I am in every spring flower..." she hears him say, "and every snowflake." There's a striking contrast between Wisniewski's adorable portraits and her story's sober meditation on love and loss--a focus that pushes it, perhaps, in the direction of older readers. Ages 5--8. (Mar.)


Kirkus Review

A lonely child and a bison become soul mates in this affecting French fantasy.A little girl is walking with her mother the first time she encounters the creature. After a few days, she gets close enough to touch himand, eventually, to feed him. Wisniewski's narrative, voiced in the first person by the protagonist, is spare, stating the essentials. Sometimes it is only a sentence or two on an otherwise blank page, a choice that draws attention to the exquisite charcoal-and-ink compositions, arranged in changing page designs. The shaggy softness of the bulky creature is matched by the white girl's appearance, her wooly layers underscoring their simpatico relationship. They sometimes blend together. A friendship is established, with the bison reappearing each winter. The first time he returns, strokes of blue watercolor animate the snowy woodland scene, the bison spotlighted in a clearing. A cozy spread shows the two sipping hot chocolate indoors while the girl tells stories: "Sometimes he wouldn't say anything. / I loved his silence." Eventually both characters' hair turns white. The last time they are together, she wonders if he misses his mother as much as she misses hers. Searching for him in vain the next winter under a blue, starlit sky, she finally realizes: "He was always with me." Wisniewski's words and images capture the deep satisfaction of an interspecies bond. Perfect for animal lovers and old souls who harbor a touch of melancholy. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

A young girl, out for a walk with her mother, spies a juvenile bison in a glade near their home. She befriends the shaggy beast, and the pair meet often until he leaves to rejoin his herd. The following winter (and for many years thereafter) he faithfully returns, and the two share companionship and stories. One winter he fails to appear, and though the girl--now an old woman--is forlorn, she still feels the creature's presence "in every spring flower, every sound in the forest, and every snowflake." Wisniewski's spare text conveys a simple, heartfelt story of a child connecting with the natural world, and eventually experiencing loss. The charcoal-and-ink illustrations lend a dreamy feel to the story, especially appropriate since several scenes depict the pair inside, sharing cups of cocoa or quietly resting together. Most of the artwork is rendered in black and white, although touches of blue and brown draw attention to particular items on the page. Quiet and contemplative, this book highlights the sense of well-being that can be found outdoors.