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.
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. 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.
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. Quiet and contemplative, this book highlights the sense of well-being that can be found outdoors.
New York Journal of Books
Sad and beautiful, My Bison is a book to fall in love with, a book to share, a book to help smooth over the sting of loss after investing so much time, energy, and love into something special. It is a wonderful glimpse into the world of uncomfortable or difficult emotions that everyone can appreciate.