I don't know, the kids and I just couldn't really get into this one! I think that the story was too long to really hold the interest of my niece and nephew, and I can't quite figure out why I didn't care much for it! I wasn't particularly bothered by the illustrations, they are what they are. I think there was some emotional something lacking for me in this story. I thought that Balto's tale was told much better in Gold Rush Dogs
by Claire Rudolf Murphy
and Jane G. Haigh
, although that one isn't a picture book aimed at kids in the early elementary school grades.