Blindcat and Tadpole

By Lisa Johansson

Illustrated by Bianka Santillan

978-1-64843-250-7 Hardcover (Printed Case)
10.5 x 10.5 x 0 in
56 pp.
Pub Date: 11/21/2024
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Blindcat and Tadpole tells the story of a tadpole who gets swept away from his riparian home during a flash flood. Tadpole is forced underground into a karst aquifer, arriving in a mysterious and magical new place. Here, Tadpole meets an iridescent fish with no eyes, the Mexican Blindcat. Blindcat agrees to guide Tadpole home and introduces him to the magical cave habitat that quietly exists under Tadpole’s pond. Tadpole discovers there is an entire unknown world beneath his home! Blindcat relies on his other senses to navigate the twists and turns of the cave. Tadpole models Blindcat’s movement, gaining confidence as they continue the dangerous journey. We follow along as Tadpole learns about this underground environment and how it is impacted from runoff water and dangers from above.

Blindcat and Tadpole is a children’s picture book intended to highlight an interesting and endangered species, specifically Prietella phreatophila, the Mexican Blindcat, while exploring aquifer systems and the diversity of life they host. The Mexican Blindcat is a cave fish found in the aquifers of Coahuila, Mexico, and Southern Texas. In 2016, researchers found the Mexican Blindcat in Lake Amistad, on the border of the United States and Mexico, proving the aquifers are connected beneath the international border. Discovery of the species in Texas is a likely indicator of the health and cleanliness of the transborder freshwater aquifers. Blindcat and Tadpole accentuates the underground portion of the water cycle that is often overlooked. In addition to the illustrated story, the book briefly expands upon the function of aquifers and the diversity within them. The underground water systems and their creatures pay no attention to geopolitical boundaries, and the importance of maintaining the health of these waters is a shared responsibility.

Will and Pamela Nelson Harte Series on Water and the Environment, sponsored by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University

Published by Texas A&M University Press