When a Mongolian elder named Gree Shrek hunts a female moose by mistake, her young calf is left behind. Saddened by her loss, Gree Shrek names the calf Xiao Han (“Little Moose”) and the moose and man form an authentic attachment. Xiao Han accompanies Gree Shrek as the hunter-gatherer herds reindeer, sets up camp, forages for food in the forest, and visits his peoples’ village, where many fun adventures happen. But as the little moose grows bigger, Gree Shrek knows he must return his companion to the forest. Richly detailed, painterly illustrations by Chinese fine artist Jiu’er bring authenticity and beauty to this thoughtful book, which illuminates the traditional and vanishing way of life for the Ewenki peoples of Inner Mongolia.
One winter morning while playing with his animal friends, a young moose named Wade notices his antlers are wiggly, and he runs home to tell his mother. Remember when we talked about your antlers falling off? she says. Don’t worry. New ones will grow in the summer. But Wade is worried.
“There once was a bear, a moose and a beaver who loved adventure. But sometimes their competitive natures got in the way of having fun.” One day, the three set off to climb a mountain together. But on the way there, they decide to make it more exciting by turning the climb into a race to the top. It’s only after being sidelined by a series of mishaps — a boulder tumbling down the path, the moose hanging off the side of the cliff, the bear hanging off the moose hanging off the side of the cliff — that the three friends realize competitions don’t always make for a good time.
Baby Hajime spends a night talking and laughing with the animals in the North Woods but chooses to return to his parents in the morning.