Based, according to the author's note, on a Japanese folktale from a medieval scroll, this story features Jojofu (or ""Heroine""), the ""bravest and smartest hunting dog in the land."" Jojofu is the young Takumi's favorite among his many dogs, all of whom he loves ""as if they were his own children."" Even though it looks as if Jojofu is leading him into danger, she is actually saving him: from a landslide, a misstep off a mist-shrouded cliff, and the jaws of a serpent. Following a magnificent full-spread battle with the serpent, Jojofu's bravery and resourcefulness are not exhausted; she directs Takumi in his rescue of the other dogs, swallowed whole by the monster and trapped in its stomach. Forever after, she is known as ""watashi no me to mimi"" to Takumi, or his eyes and his ears. Resplendent illustrations set the story both culturally and dramatically, making use of forced perspective and the boundless, unframed focus of traditional Japanese art. Waite and Ito have created a book that will be read and reread often, not only because of its felicitous blend of words and pictures, but also because children will readily identify with the dog who works so hard to make an adult listen.