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Ellsworth woman brings kids' book she wrote to light

A lot of her own childhood can be found in the pages of the children's book Tammy Cloutier wrote.

Cloutier's idea for "Firefly Freddie" came from her memories of encountering many of the bugs on her family's property while she was growing up in Texas, she said Thursday. As for the writing it contains, she inherited that skill from her father, Ron Browne, who enjoys being a writer.

"He's written the poems we send back and forth at Christmas," she said.

In fact, the Ellsworth resident credits her dad's influence on a dedication page near the front of her book, aimed at ages two to 10. It reads: "Thank you to my father, Ronald C. Browne, for passing on to me his gift for writing, and to my late nephew, Travis Miller (1993-2009)..."

Miller was an artist and painter whose talents she asked to be reflected in the book's illustrations, done by Benton Rudd. She said Rudd's contributions were arranged with her input by the publishing company she lined up.

"I wanted it to be kind of Disney-ish," she said, adding, "the fireflies should look happy and they do."

Read more in the print version of the Herald Jan. 4.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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