The Moose of Ewenki

Original Title

Text by
Gerelchimeg Blackcrane

Illustrations by
Jiu Er



Jieli Publishing House
April 2018

World English
Complex Chinese

A Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year, and a Junior Library Guide Selection!

From one of China’s most beloved, bestselling children’s authors comes this touching story of friendship and empathy, which celebrates the traditional way of life for the Indigenous Ewenki peoples of Mongolia.

When a Mongolian elder named Gree Shek hunts a female moose by mistake, her young calf is left behind. Saddened by her loss, Gree Shek names the calf Xiao Han (“Little Moose”) and the moose and man form an authentic attachment. Xiao Han accompanies Gree Shek 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 Shek 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.

Editorial Reviews from the English edition, Greystone Kids (September 30, 2019)

“[Gerelchimeg Blackcrane’s] extraordinary narrative is gorgeously paired with Chinese sculptor/painter Jiu Er's exquisitely detailed illustrations that rely on a simple palette of browns, greens and pinks to create resonating depth. Fair warning: tissues are an absolute must. 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.”
—Shelf Awareness (Starred Review)

“Deeply satisfying in every way, The Moose of Ewenki is a beautiful story of friendship that will remain with readers long after the last page is read.”
—Books to Borrow, Books to Buy

“Beautifully detailed paintings complement this touching story, which highlights the traditional and vanishing way of life of the Ewenki people.”

“The tale is valuable for its thoughtful portrayal of the Reindeer Ewenki’s traditional ways. The illustrations’ delicate lines and shading meticulously model the characters, and there’s a solemnity to them even at their most slapstick. Plodding, endearing, and humorous—not unlike a baby moose.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A beautiful book about an elder hunter-gatherer in Inner Mongolia and the friendship he strikes up with a moose calf. I loved that this book highlighted a place and way of life that isn’t commonly known, and in such a gorgeous way. The story is moving, and the illustrations are detailed and lovely.”
—Baby Librarians

“Watercolour and charcoal pictures—some sepia-toned, some delicately colorful—are plentiful and detailed...showing the magnificance of the (sometimes comical) beast and the breadth of the forest landscape.”
—Roger Sutton, Horn Book Magazine

“[The Moose of Ewenki] will appeal to a broad audience, and is simple enough for a very young audience to springboard the study of this culture’s legends and to compare them with other cultures of reindeer or caribou herders.”
—School Library Connection

[The Moose of Ewenki] is full of both humor and tears, an evocative reflection of the life of the Ewenki people. Gree Shek and Little Moose stole my heart and no one who sees Jiu Er’s stunning illustrations will be able to resist this gorgeous book. The illustrations enhance the powerful story beautifully. Don’t miss it.”

Gerelchimeg Blackcrane is a multi-award-winning, bestselling author from Inner Mongolia, China, who has published dozens of books for children, some which have sold as many as five million copies in China. He currently lives on the Hulunbuir Grassland in Mongolia.

Jiu Er is an award-winning fine artist and sculptor, and the first female Chinese artist to be featured in the book list of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). She lives in Beijing, China, along with her Mongolian hunting dog, whose name is Huhe.