of Grandmother Fish & Clades

May 28, 2014
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Karen’s sketches in the draft

Karen’s sketches in the draft


Karen’s sketches are wonderful.

Grandmother Fish has taken a big step forward with the addition of Karen’s sketches to the prototype. The sketches are rough, but even in rough form they bring a lot more sweetness to the book. She’s also formatted the PDF so that you see both the left and right pages in each spread, which is what it will look like when you open the finished book.

Please download the latest prototype of Grandmother Fish at the usual URL, here: www.grandmotherfish.com/grandmotherfish.pdf.

With the addition of Karen’s sketches to the book, it’s better than ever to share with friends. and we’d love to get some fresh eyes on it. Please share this post with friends, and thanks for your help.

May 26, 2014
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Video shoot went great!

Video shoot went great!

We shot the video for the Kickstarter last Saturday, and it was amazing. The shoot brought all the team members together for the first time: Karen, the artist; my business consultant; the videographer; and me. It was a joy to see us all working together and getting such good results. In her interview, Karen really showed her genuine excitement for the project, and my daughter did a great job talking about what it was like to learn about evolution from me as a child. We also taped three parents reading Grandmother Fish to their young children and got plenty of good footage.

For 20 years, I’ve been a professional game designer in Seattle, so I have a lot of friends who can help me bring Grandmother Fish to life. One friend pointed me to Keith Hitchcock and his Hocus Focus video company. Keith did an amazing job on a tight budget and with amateur talent. I can’t wait to see the final video.

Karen brought her husband and their 6-year-old son, my gaming buddy was there with his wife and two daughters, and my daughter is back from college, so the day was also something of a family gathering. The kids and my dogs had fun romping in our big yard.

While taping one mother-daughter pair, we caught the daughter asking her mom, “So, we’re related to fish?” It was golden.


My daughter, me, Karen, and her son at the video shoot.

May 13, 2014
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Evolution game on Kickstarter

Evolution game on Kickstarter

Evolutionary tree

Evolutionary tree in Go Extinct!

Go Extinct! is a card game that teaches children and adults the basics of our evolutionary tree. It’s like Go Fish, except that the cards represent various tetrapod species, and the “suits” are the various clades, or evolutionary groups, that each species falls into. Ariel Marcy, the creator, has done a good job with the evolutionary tree. The full evolutionary, or phylogenetic, tree is dauntingly complex. Marcy boils it down to a manageable number of groups, and she does a good job of choosing animals to represent major groups, from the mundane (such as chicken) to the obscure (such as the snakelike, amphibian caecilians). Players can see for themselves that looks can be deceiving, and two animals might look different but be closely related, or look similar but have only a distant connection.

The evolutionary tree is central to a modern understanding of animal taxonomy. Hundreds of years ago, animals were grouped together according to their characteristics, putting birds, for example, is a category separate from reptiles. Today, however, we group animals according to common descent. Birds and mammals are grouped together with reptiles in the “amniote” clade. Marcy calls this large clade the “shell shockers” because we’re the tetrapods that evolved eggs that could survive on land. While many of these clades have intimidating scientific names, such as “Laurasiatherian,” Marcy has given them all kid-friendly names that point to the animals’ evolution. She uses the term “North Siders” for Laurasiatherians, such as lions and whales, because they evolved in the northern continent of Laurasia.

The phylogenetic tree expresses the modern way of understanding relationships among organisms, living and extinct. Go Extinct! is a fun way for people to interact with the tree and get comfortable with it. Please consider backing Marcy’s Kickstarter campaign, which you can find right here. Her Kickstarter ends on May 31st, so don’t delay.


May 8, 2014
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Welcome to Grandmother Fish

Welcome to Grandmother Fish

Welcome to Grandmother Fish, the book that teaches evolution to preschoolers.

Grandmother Fish is a child’s first book of evolution. The book engages a young child’s imagination with sounds and motions that imitate animals, especially our direct ancestors. See for yourself by viewing or downloading an early draft at the sign-up form to the right.  >>>

Also, here’s a sneak-peek at our Grandmother Fish Kickstarter video! After you sign up, we will be able to send you updates for when our Kickstarter campaign will launch.

— Jonathan Tweet


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May 5, 2014
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Announcing artist Karen Lewis

Announcing artist Karen Lewis

There’s been a lot of progress on Grandmother Fish, my book that explains human evolution to 3-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 acheter cialis au meilleur prix. 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 on the Download page (password access required).

Please share.

April 30, 2014
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Preview of Grandmother Fish

Preview of Grandmother Fish

<a title="preview of Grandmother Fish" href="http://www commander cialis soft.grandmotherfish.com/download/”>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.

Note: The Download page is password-protected. If you need access please Contact us with your request.

April 17, 2014
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on New prototype

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 generique de cialis. 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.

April 14, 2014
by Jonathan Tweet
Comments Off on Thanks for your support

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.