Cover Image: My Bison

My Bison

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Member Reviews

Beautiful illustrations, and a beautiful story. My son loves this so much, we have read it three times. We will be procuring a hard back copy to add to our shelf. Thank you so much for such a delightful picture book.

*Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy for my honest opinion.
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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

A beautifully illustrated book on the life and evolution of a little girl and a bison. Meeting and experiencing life at various stages until one day only one of them returns to the clearing in which they meet and must learn to deal with the loss.

The understanding that while a loved one may leave us, there will always be memories of them that surround us. It is a gorgeous book that may help children understand about loss and grief and the ways we can learn to live with both.

The illustrations are a bit dark, so it may do better as a picture book for 9-13 year olds as opposed to a younger age range simply doue to the maturity required to grasp all the concepts within this book.
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I received an advanced reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

What a delightful and moving picture book this is with such beautiful but simple artwork to match. I loved this story and felt the sentiment of it through the pages. Afew pages didnt have any pictures only text so I'm not sure if this will be different on the printed version. 
This book covers loss of a loved one and how even when they are not with us anymore they are still with us in other ways.
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What a touching story! I think it was about having a spirit animal. I don't know the age group it's intended for... it may need explaining to small folk, but it is a lovely tale and the illustrations were beautifully done. I look forward to seeing the book as I am sure the illustrations will be in color.
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It is Springtime and a little unnamed girl is walking in the tall grass with her mother.   Her mother scoops her up in her arms so she can take a peek at a bison that is not far off.   

Every day after the little girl returns to the same place... and so does the bison.  They get closer and closer to each other and finally a strong bond occurs between the two. 

She begins bringing him things to eat that she makes and one morning her bison leaves to join up with the other bison in his herd. 

The girl is very lonely without him but when it is winter once again he returns.  They enjoy each other's company around a fire as she tells him countless stories of what she has been up to in his absence.  Years pass and each grow older and then one winter her bison doesn't return.  She looks for him everywhere throughout the forest but she never finds him.  He is gone.  Although her loss is heartbreaking she comes to the realization that no matter what her bison will aways be in the spring flowers, the sounds in the forest, and in every snowflake... but especially he will always be in her heart.  He has never left at all!  She can feel him beside her. 

This wonderful story is about acceptance, love, loss and grief.  The illustrations are portrayed in charcoal and ink and are hauntingly beautiful.  Wisniewski enriches her drawings by gradually adding touches of blue water-colour.  The book is a perfect catalyst to spark conversations about sometimes difficult subjects to discuss with kids.  I highly recommend this story.
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What is striking about "MY BISON," a picture book by Gaya Wisniewski, is the hauntingly beautiful illustrations. There is a mood created here that extends beyond words on a page. The story spans childhood to old age in the life of a woman who befriends a wild bison.

The reader moves between the comforts of home and hearth to the wilderness and mystery of the outdoors. The bison is both a mythical playmate (who is pictured at times curled up in the girl's bed or sharing a taste of soup) and a mysterious wild animal who lives on the border of the unknown, the unexplored wilderness. 

Wisniewski evokes multiple levels of meaning expertly with a quiet elegance. MY BISON would be good for a child (or adult) grieving the loss of a beloved pet. It would also be a lovely story to read at bedtime on a cold winter night. The loving relationship between the girl and her bison -- the tame and the wild -- touches on the cycle of life and how love remains. A timeless storybook to keep and share for generations. 

A side note (from a worried mother): The girl's approaching the bison -- getting closer and closer to him, until one day she can approach him -- caused worry in this reader that the story would encourage young children to approach real bison who are not nearly as tame or predictable as the bison in the magical world Wisniewski creates.  MY BISON appears to have French publisher. I wonder whether American readers might be more anxious literalists about sitting side-by-side with a bison; perhaps bison are considered more mythical and less like cattle, to a European audience.
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Una bambina, un bisonte, una foresta silenziosa: anno dopo anno si rinnova il miracolo di un'amicizia che è un ponte fra esseri, realtà, mondi diversi, un'amicizia che la lontananza stagionale del bisonte non allenta, ma nutre nell'attesa di un nuovo incontro.

Un'amicizia che forma due vite nel silenzio, e che nemmeno l'assenza più dolorosa può interrompere: anche quella una pausa, soltanto una pausa, nell'attesa di rivedersi nella vastità delle foreste celesti.

L'asciutta sobrietà del bianco e nero presta a una storia apparentemente troppo scarna la serenità che merita, aggiungendo ricchezza a una riflessione su tavola profonda e commovente.
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A visually notable look at friendship across the species divide, as a young girl from some unspecified Native American family befriends a bison, to the extent of cooking food for him.  They remain close over the years until the inevitable ending.  It might be a little too deep for the target audience, as it's a gentle and poetic story, never once in its illustrations (of the bison and girl playing, or the smelly beast in some kind of box bed) pretending to veracity.  Certainly the design, all black and white and with only relevant tinges of blue, really helps show the snowy remoteness where the fantastical story plays out.
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This book was sweet, yet sad; it reminded me of one of my favorite books when I was young: "Bob and Jack: A Boy and his Yak," though the tone was a little more somber. The black and white charcoal  drawings were beautifully done and really helped set the mood, especially with the later inclusion of blue into the images. Thank you for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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My Bison is a story about a young girl and her bison friend. Although the bison leaves each year, it always returns to spend time with the child. However, one year the bison does not return. The girl goes to look for the bison and is unable to find it. Later, she feels the presence of the bison and realizes that it had never left.

The illustrations in this book are done in grays and blues. The simplicity of the color palette allows the friendship between the child and the bison to be portrayed without the background becoming overwhelming or distracting. I am a huge fan of the artwork in this book because I feel that it adds so much to the story. I appreciate the simplicity of the story itself. The friendship between the two characters endured for years and even when the bison couldn't physically be with the child, their bond still remained.

I received a free copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

#NetGalley #MyBison
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My Bison is a simple, yet stunning book about loss and grief. It tells about the friendship between a girl/woman and her bison and the illustrations alone makes the book amazing.
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My Bison is a simple, but impactful book. The story focuses on a girl and a bison she befriends. Their relationship is told in beautifully drawn black and white photographs. The girl shares all she grows to love about her bison and how he enhances her life. Then, the bison goes away. For such a short book, that loss definitely gets in your feels and leaves an impact. This is a wonderfully told story of friendship, loss and never forgetting the impact someone (or something) had on us.
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As someone who has always loved Buffalo/Bison, I loved this story so much! I cried at the end. My Bison is about a girl who befriends a Buffalo while dealing with log and remembrance. The story also emphasizes woman aging from young childhood to old age. The illustrations were beautiful as well. Overall, the story was well done, and I will be buying this for my future daughter.
5 out 5 stars.
Thank you net galley and the publisher for allowing me to read this beautiful story.
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A simple yet lovely story about grief and loss.

The unnamed narrator of this tale is just a child when a chance meeting with a bison sparks what will become a lifelong friendship. She first encounters him in a clearing at the edge of the forest, and the fellow youngsters continue to meet there daily – sharing tentative pets, food, and stories – until it’s time for the bison to rejoin his herd in the spring. However, the two find their way back to one another every year, each growing older with the passing years. She misses “her bison” terribly when they are apart, but the thought of seeing him again keeps her going. 

Until, one year, she returns to the clearing to find him gone. Gone, but not forgotten: he lives on in her memories, in the beauty of nature, and in the little dance of her heart.

MY BISON is a simple yet beautiful story about love and loss, for readers of all ages. The artwork might be a little sophisticated (one might say “dreary”) for younger readers; the color palate begins with black, white and gray, and becomes more vibrant as the story (and the human-animal bond) progresses. The blues add a splash of color yet are somber enough to complement the overall tone of the story. 

I had to laugh at the early reviewer who bemoaned this is as another example of “European authors romanticizing dangerous North American creatures,” when clearly the bison is meant to be a stand-in for any loved one who has passed away, human and nonhuman alike. Personally, I can’t read this without thinking of the many doggos I’ve loved and lost. I mean, geez, a bison’s lifespan is only fifteen years, and seeing as he sticks it out until the narrator is a wizened old lady, I don’t think a literal interpretation is really the point.
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European authors romanticizing dangerous North American creatures is a theme that I've encountered more than once, unfortunately. First it was bears. Now it's bison, large mammals that have been involved in multiple goring attacks in parks over the last few years. Sounds like a wonderful animal for a young child to approach and try to befriend!

I'm not sure how appealing this book will be to children, anyway. The illustrations are kind of gloomy, all done in shades of black and blue. Yes, the story is about loss and remembrance, but it's also about a woman aging from young childhood to old age... and I'm not sure if that's something that's relatable for the picture-book set.

I can think of a few other books that use the idea of a departed loved one being present in the natural world of those left behind. At least those books don't promote the idea of trying to befriend an animal that might try to kill you.
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