Reading Guide available from Minnesota Storytime
When they went into battle they wore no costly armor, just birchbark wrapped around their legs, and so they were called Birkebeiners, which means "Birchleggers." It is the year 1206, and deep in the snow-covered mountains and valleys of Norway the fiercest warriors in the land struggle to ski a baby to safety. They race against the greed and inequity of the rich, against the very weather of Norway. They race as the only way to save a child prince and bring peace to their country. Here is a true, untold story of both bravery and tenderness. Mary Azarian's strong, sure woodcuts capture the warmth and ruggedness of medieval life, while Lise Lunge-Larsen's dramatic telling is direct and mesmerizing.
Minnesota Book Award, ALA Notable Book, Aesop Accolade for 2002, the Children's Folklore Society of the American Folklore Society Award, a Best Book of the Year for Bank St. College of Ed.