Seattle Game Designer Creating Evolution Book for Preschoolers

“Grandmother Fish” Uses Motions and Sounds to Appeal to Little Children
An early sketch of "Grandmother Fish"
An early sketch of "Grandmother Fish"
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* Children S Books
* Science

* Books
* Science

* Seattle - Washington - US

SEATTLE - June 12, 2014 - PRLog -- Into the nationwide discussion about evolution and creationism comes something new, a book that gets preschoolers to love the idea that we are descended from animals. Local game designer Jonathan Tweet is putting aside his 20-sided dice to self-publish Grandmother Fish, a children’s book that aims to make human evolution accessible to young children. Since 1993, several children’s books have appeared that tell the story of evolution to grade-school children, but Grandmother Fish will be the first to reach preschoolers. Creationist parents have books about Adam and Eve for their preschoolers, and soon the rest of the population will have such a book for their young children, too.

Grandmother Fish coaxes children to mimic the motions and sounds of five consecutive ancestors or “grandmothers”: a fish, a reptile, a mammal, an ape and a human. Children wiggle like fish and hoot like apes. In this way, evolution becomes personal to the child rather than abstract. While the story is simple enough for young children, the endnotes include hard science for the parents, written to help the parent explain evolution to their children in simple terms. Response to the book has been so positive that Tweet decided to raise funds for it on Kickstarter. The campaign starts June 23, 2014.

Grandmother Fish will include illustrations of dozens of prehistoric and living animals so children can see that evolution is about diversity, not a linear progression with humans at the top. Tweet has partnered with local children’s book and science illustrator Karen Lewis. Her past clients have included the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, the Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Public Schools, KCTS public television and the National Science Foundation “The key,” says Lewis, “is to bring life and personality to these animals while staying true to the science behind what we know about them.” Tweet has been consulting with science educators, children’s book authors, and parents to ensure that the book is both scientifically accurate and accessible to children. When finished, Grandmother Fish will be a full-size, full-color, 32-page hardback book.

Tweet moved to the Seattle area 20 years ago to work at Wizards of the Coast, makers of the collectable card game Magic: the Gathering. After Wizards bought the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, Tweet was assigned to be the lead designer on the 3rd edition of the game, which was highly successful. Ryan Dancey, who was D&D’s brand manager at the time, says that Tweet is “the perfect person to create an engaging book about a complex topic like evolution for kids.” After Wizards, Tweet also worked at GameHouse, owned by RealNetworks, and at Amazon Game Studios. Grandmother Fish is his first children’s book.

Jonathan Tweet is an award-winning, Seattle-based, veteran game designer, having contributed to global brands such as DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, and POKEMON. His innovative game designs earned him a place in The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame, and he has placed a special emphasis on explaining complicated games in simple terms.Grandmother Fish is his first children’s book.

Karen Lewis is a Seattle-based illustrator for children’s storybooks, history, and science. She strives to make her art accessible, accurate and visually delicious. Favorite clients have included the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, the Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Public Utilities, KCTS public television, King County and the National Science Foundation. She’s the resident cartoonist for Cobblestone, an American history magazine for kids. Her children’s book include Will it Blow – Become a Volcano Detective at Mount St. Helens, Amazing Alaska andArturo and the Navidad Birds.

Kickstarter is a pioneering online platform for funding independent, creative projects, everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Since Kickstarter’s launch in 2009, 6.3 million people have pledged $1 billion, funding 62,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.

Jonathan Tweet
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Location:Seattle - Washington - United States
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