Grandmother Fish: a child’s first book of Evolution

Created by Grandmother Fish LLC

“Grandmother Fish” teaches preschoolers to love the idea that we are descended from animals. Can you wiggle like a fish?

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Grandmother Fish April Update
over 7 years ago – Sat, Apr 18, 2015 at 04:46:46 PM

Karen Finishing Art

Karen has been working away in her studio bringing all the artwork up to finished quality. You may have seen her son in the Kickstarter video. I’m occasionally stepping in to watch him for Karen so she can stay focused on Grandmother Fish. We are still planning to get the book to the printer this month.

US Printer

We are lucky to have located Bang Printing in Minnesota. Having a US printer means we can avoid the delays and uncertainty that come from printing in China.

Books to Camp Quest

The good people at Camp Quest have agreed to take 35 copies of Grandmother Fish for their nationwide summer camp programs. That leaves about 80 donated copies that we will find other homes for.

Preorder Store

We’ve updated our preorder store, and the biggest change is that we now have “bundles” that let our international supporters buy multiple copies of the book while paying only once for shipping & handing. These bundles also mean savings for US customers who buy more than one copy, but it’s the international supporters who see the biggest savings. Here’s the URL for our preorder store. Please share.

Thanks for Your Support!

Your support has been the best part of this whole Kickstarter experience.


Grandmother Fish release plans and Darwin Day
over 7 years ago – Thu, Apr 02, 2015 at 09:05:46 AM

I know that you’re all eagerly awaiting your copies of Grandmother Fish, and believe me, so am I. Today Karen and I went over the schedule at length, and we can say that the book will go to the printer in April. We are shooting for early April, but it’s more important to me that the book be right than that it hit a deadline. I hope you would agree.

Darwin Day 2015

Grandmother Fish made an appearance at Darwin Day in Seattle. Here you see my daughter reading the book to a group of young children. The story drew them in page by page until at the end some of them were crowding around the book. The sounds and motions are a real draw, and kids seem to respond warmly to the family theme. My thanks go out to the volunteers of Camp Quest Northwest, who hosted the childcare room. I left them with a draft copy of Grandmother Fish, plus the Go Extinct! card game, the Multiverse Verse book, and a spare copy of Evolution.

Thanks again for your support. It wouldn’t have happened without you.


Darwin Day Update for Grandmother Fish
almost 8 years ago – Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 07:18:11 AM

Here's the Darwin Day update to Grandmother Fish. The family tree is really coming into shape, the backer names are a lot of fun, and the back cover looks amazing. Thanks, Karen!



Update on Grandmother Fish schedule and new evolutionary tree art to share…
almost 8 years ago – Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 07:09:10 PM

With the holidays behind us, Karen and I have been back at work. We reviewed our schedule for finishing Grandmother Fish. With that in mind, here is a peek at what Karen has been doing and an update on when to expect the finished book.

Family Tree Silhouettes

Here are several silhouettes that Karen has finished for the evolutionary family tree. She does a wonderful job of bringing life to these simple images and capturing large branches of the tree with single, iconic images. It’s a real blessing to have a children’s science illustrator like Karen on the project. The two-page evolutionary family tree was not part of the original concept for the book, but we added it when we hit our stretch goal, so thanks again to all of you who helped us add this wonderful diagram to the book.

Darwin Day is February 12th

Our goal is to have the final files sent to the printer and the ebooks available to backers by Darwin’s birthday, February 12. Karen and I have both experienced enough to know that projects like Grandmother Fish can surprise you with unexpected delays, and I’ve told her that quality is more important than timeliness. Grandmother Fish is going to be the first evolution book for preschoolers that any child has ever seen, so it has to be beautiful. I’ve been working on this book for 15 years, and after all this time I’m not going to rush the final art. Thank you for your patience.

If the book isn’t quite finished by the 12th, we will have a major update on that day, and you’ll be able to see final or near-final art. The following Saturday, my daughter will be reading Grandmother Fish to children at a Darwin Day event here in Seattle, and the kids will be among the first to see Karen’s final artwork. In any event, we’ll have the ebook done by the end of February.

Hardbacks in April If everything goes smoothly, backers with US addresses may get their books by the end of March. Realistically, we’re working with a new printer and releasing our first book, so we expect to be surprised by one delay or another. We’d love to ship books by the end of March, but more likely it will be early April.


An online science library from the UK has contacted us and will put an ebook version of Grandmother Fish in their library for educators to use. The coordinator said that there’s nothing else like Grandmother Fish. Thanks again for supporting Grandmother Fish and making the project happen.