Lovely piece. It recalls the work of Sendak, Garth Williams and whoever illustrated some editions of the Little House on the Prairie books (was that also Williams?). Is that Laura Ingalls Wilder hugging the beast?
It's amazing what affects us unconsciously. I had a professor once look at a fast sketch (done during a lit class to illustrate an essay) and point out that I copied the layout of the room from a Van Gogh painting. She was absolutely right, but I didn't consciously have that in mind.
I don't think that was quite the case here, though. I didn't even know Garth Williams well and had to look him up when he was first mentioned, and only then recognised his illustrations for E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, which I hadn't had any proximity with in years. And I wasn't at all aware of his work for Little House on the Prairie until now. The book itself is also less well-known over here in Britain. I admire Sendak a great deal (few illustrators can fail to), but he has never really figured among my influences. I think it's simply because the bison's head happens to be reminiscent of one of the Wild Things.