CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens (Fall 2015) - Commended

The life story of a painted mustang set against the backdrop of America’s Great Plains in the late 1800s.

It’s the late 1800s. A Lakota boy finds an orphaned mustang foal and brings her back to his family’s camp, naming her Paint for her black-and-white markings. Boy and horse soon become inseparable. Together they learn to hunt buffalo, their fear of the massive beasts tempered by a growing trust in each other.

When the U.S. Cavalry attacks the camp, the pair is forced onto separate paths. Paint’s fate becomes entwined with that of settlers, who bring irreversible change to the grassland, setting the stage for environmental disaster. Bought and sold several times, Paint finally finds a home with English pioneers on the Canadian Prairie.

With a great dust storm looming on the horizon, man and horse will need to work together if they hope to survive.


CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens (Fall 2015)


Paint is an excellent book for horse lovers, young girls, and has enough adventure to keep the interest of young boys.

Rick Revelle, author of I Am Algonquin

This book is well written [and] very entertaining.… The story is emotionally engaging as the reader comes to care about the horse Paint and her handlers.

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A painted mustang gives us a glimpse into how life used to be on the's a great read.

Rob Her Many Horses, Lower Brule Lakota

Dance’s voice, on behalf of the horse, is authentic…the reader becomes engaged and invested in the story and characters.

Horse Canada Magazine

Dance has found a way to tackle...complex topics, as well as provide a history lesson, that is not only understandable to children, but also interesting. What’s Dance’s secret? Animals.

Stouffville Sun-Tribune

Jennifer Dance's Paint is a North American Black Beauty...Paint, the story of a mustang...has a social purpose, that of revealing the genocide and environmental destruction that occurred on the North American Great Plains in the late 19th century.

Canadian Materials

About the Author

Jennifer Dance

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014
Jennifer Dance photo

Jennifer Dance

Jennifer Dance was born in England and holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture and Animal Science from the University of the West Indies. She migrated to Canada in 1979. With family in the Native community, Jennifer has a passion for equality and justice for all people. Her first novel, Red Wolf, was endorsed by Giller Prize–winning author Joseph Boyden. An avid environmentalist, Jennifer lives on a small farm in Stouffville, Ontario.