Saturday, July 30, 2011


I like cats but people who look like cats also kind of look like jerks.=p

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Animal Picture Book mission statement

I have started a new blog! It can be found at

THE ANIMAL PICTURE BOOK mission statement
There is some anecdotal evidence that modern urban kids don't know a lot about animals. They don't know an elephant from Adam. That's pretty sad. Why, just the other day, I was at the Los Angeles Zoo. A fox squirrel scampered by and a kid said "Look, a raccoon!" This is unacceptable. So I've decided to make a picture book-
1. A roughly evolutionary approach will be taken, from one-celled critters on up to human beings. (As a Roman Catholic who tries to be rationalistic when possible, I have no desire to produce an apologia for Creationism.) There will be digressions for insects, crustaceans and other critters that are not part of the general sweep of human evolution.
2. Certain problematic aspects of nature, such as predation and sexual dimorphism, will be represented, but not in a particularly graphic manner. It will be made clear that lions eat antelopes, but if kids want to see lions munching on strings of antelope guts they can watch it on Youtube.
3. Only very recently extinct animals will be represented, so I can narrow it down. I would love to draw a lot of ammonites, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, trilobites and australopithecines, but I would also like to keep it simple.
4. Each drawing should ideally tell the reader something interesting about the animal. For example, the Seahorse illustration tells the reader that seahorses hang on to things with their tails.
5. I am not going to break my ass making accurate drawings. The drawings are all going be easily-recognizable caricatures.
6. Text will be limited to page headings and species labeling. The parents who are reading the book with their kid can explain whatever strange things are going on.
7. I will try to depict a mix of well-known (i.e., lions) and somewhat obscure (i.e. parrotfish) animals.
8. The Animal Picture Book is only an introduction. Kids who are interested in animals have a lot of other resources at their disposal. Mom and dad can help them out with that.^_^