Grandmother Fish

Creating a child's first book of evolution

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Announcing artist Karen Lewis

There’s been a lot of progress on Grandmother Fish, my book that explains human evolution to 2-year olds.

I’m delighted to announce that Karen Lewis will be working with me as the artist for Grandmother Fish. She’s a talented children’s book illustrator, and her animals strike just the right balance between realism and fun. She lives here in Seattle, and she’s an old friend. You can see Karen’s portfolio here. Now that there’s an artist on the team, we can start getting real about the art and the graphic presentation. Karen’s schedule allows us to plan for a Kickstarter campaign to start in June. The partnership with Karen has been in the works for weeks, and I’m glad to finally be able to tell everyone about it!

Karen’s illustrations and animations combine creative vision with traditional and emerging media to communicate in innovative and accessible ways. Favorite projects include work for The Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Public Utilities, The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, KCTS public television, King County and the National Science Foundation. She’s a resident cartoonist for ‘Cobblestone,’ an American history magazine for kids. Other projects have included a science comic book, a web site about Impressionism, animations for a seahorse exhibit in a zoo, and a musical about ground water conservation, complete with dancing groundhogs.

I’ve also brought Jeff McCord onboard to help manage the Kickstarter campaign so I’m confident about the campaign’s success.

A preview version of Grandmother Fish is available online. The art is all placeholder art, and the text isn’t final yet, but the preview gives you a good idea of what the book is all about. If you’ve seen it before, the current version includes recent improvements. If you haven’t seen it before, please take a look. It’s at

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preview of Grandmother Fish

It’s easier to show people the book than to explain it, so above is a link to a preview. Enjoy. The text is continually changing as I respond to comments from people who are reading the book to children. 

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new prototype

Today I got some feedback that clarified my thinking and that gave me a way to use a lot of related feedback that I’ve been getting on Grandmother Fish. The feedback prompted me to make substantial changes to the text. Meanwhile, I’ve finished a better draft of the science notes at the end of the book and improved the graphics on most of the pages. It’s the biggest change to the prototype since i first posted it.

If you have already seen the prototype of Grandmother Fish, it’s different now and worth taking a second look at.

If you haven’t seen the prototype, I’m looking for fresh eyes who can review it without being biased by its earlier format. And I’m especially looking for people who can read the book to 1-, 2-, and 3-year olds. Contact me if that sounds like fun. 

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thanks for your support

The reactions I’m getting from friends and strangers are telling me that I’m onto something with Grandmother Fish. People say that it’s a book that should exist, and the concept is so simple that readers get it immediately. At this point, I’m reaching outside my professional circle and relying on the good will of strangers to help get the word out. The response has been positive. The more responses I get, the easier it is to reach out to more people. With Grandmother Fish, my efforts are part of a larger cause, and people are happy to help.