Tammy Cloutier’s debut picture book, Painted Dog Pursuit tells the story of Kane, a painted dog living with his pack in Africa. When Kane goes for a hunt with his pack, we are introduced to elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, and lions. Thomas Block’s richly-colored, realistic illustrations pair nicely with Tammy’s short, informative text.
Kane is separated from his pack and must find his way back to them, a theme all children will connect with. And while he does indeed reunite with his family, children will be disappointed that the hunters return to the rest of the pack without food, creating a teachable moment for interpreters who want to build understanding and empathy for predators. A “Did you know?” section on the final page gives five additional fun facts about painted dogs. Tammy hopes to have additional teaching resources on her website in time.
Tammy has worked in AZA facilities (including The Wilds, in Ohio), and is currently pursuing a PhD with a focus on painted dog conservation–her passion. She is generously–an understatement!–donating 100% of the book’s proceeds to painted dog conservation.
This is a must-have book for zoos who teach about the importance and struggles of predators in any habitat, those who teach about African habitats, and of course those who focus on the painted dog.
Painted Dog Pursuit is currently available on Amazon, but if you want a signed copy, you can purchase those by contacting Tammy at the link provided above. And, as the last page promises that Kane’s story is “to be continued,” we’ll be watching for Tammy’s next book too!