National Fossil Day Promotion

Mammoth is Mopey celebrates National Fossil Day, October 14, 2015

On October 14, 2015 in the US, the National Park Service and American Geoscience Institute will host the fifth annual National Fossil Day, “a celebration organized to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value.” That matches up quite nicely with what we hope Mammoth is Mopey does, so we’re taking this opportunity to directly support the scientific efforts that inspired our book and continue to stoke our imaginations.

The Jurassic FoundationFrom October 14 through October 16, 2015, we are pledging to donate half of all hardcover and ebook sales here at our website to the Jurassic Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has been supporting scientific research on dinosaurs since 1998. As you can see by perusing past grantees, the foundation supports young researchers from around the world. With $7.50 of every hardcover book and $3.50 of every ebook going to the Jurassic Foundation, we can make a significant donation. It’s a great chance to get a jump on the holiday gift season, too!

Please help us by spreading the word on social media, whether linking to this post or sharing the graphic below!

"Mammoth is Mopey" National Fossil Day promotion graphic
National Fossil Day promo graphic, free to share.

Ebook version 2 now available

We are happy to announce that version 2 of the “Mammoth is Mopey” ebook in both EPUB and PDF formats is now available. A few small text revisions were made to the “Meet Mammoth and Friends” section, but the main enhancement is that accessibility has been improved for use with braille readers and text-to-speech tools. The PDF version remains the most accessible version. A fixed-layout EPUB by its nature is not as compatible with accessibility tools.

All future orders for ebooks will be fulfilled with this newest version. If you would like to upgrade your copy of the ebook to the new version, please email us and we’ll be happy to send a download code.

Kelenken's page in the "Meet Mammoth and Friends" section of the ebook.
Kelenken’s page in the “Meet Mammoth and Friends” section of the ebook.

Custom Illustration Show and Tell

Hey all, David here. Up in the higher reaches of the Mammoth is Mopey Indiegogo campaign, backers had the opportunity to purchase illustration commissions. After the books and buttons were shipped out, I sent out questionnaires to the handful of generous backers who opted for these perks and then set to work on the custom pieces. Now I can share them!

First up, Emily Willoughby asked for a piece inspired by the artwork in the book itself. Her favorite dinosaur is Deinonychus, and in keeping with her personality, she wanted it to be diligent. Many depictions of dromaeosaurs show them to be voracious predators, but Emily wanted hers to be a voracious reader.

Deinonychus is Diligent, an illustration by David Orr commissioned by Emily Willoughby

Michael Fleischmann gave me free rein to stretch out a bit from the Mammoth is Mopey style, and gave me a simple prompt: he wanted to see the strange Triassic reptile Longisquama. I really enjoy digging into the overall environment in which prehistoric animals lived – their paleoecological context, to be more jargony about it. In my research into the Madygen formation from which this splendid weirdo hails, I was especially interested in the insects that lived with Longisquama and I was determined to work them into the piece. In the foreground, the illustration’s subject watches a cupedoid beetle fly away. Silhouetted in the background, another Longisquama seems not to notice the enormous titanopteran insect Gigatitan approaching it from behind.


Moving out of the prehistoric realm, Sarah Yee asked me to create a portrait of her beloved dogs, Charlie and Ajax. Both are rescues, and Sarah was happy to relate all of their personality quirks and provide many photos for reference. As a dog person myself, I was thrilled to do my very first pet portrait, and I’d love to do more.

Charlie and Ajax, a pet portrait by David Orr, commissioned by Sarah Yee

Our last one for now was created for the digital avatar perk, claimed by Catherine Fowler. She decided she’d like to have an African Civet, and I gleefully provided one. Such a beautiful, charismatic animal, something like a raccoon mixed with wolverine.

African Civet by David Orr, commissioned by Catherine Fowler

We have one more backer at the custom illustration level who is still mulling over the perfect choice for the commission, but we’ll share that piece when it’s done as well. Creating these has been so rewarding, and both Jennie and I are grateful for the support these backers gave us – without these pledges, we would not have made our goal!

Ebooks Ahoy!

We’re thrilled to announce that the Mammoth is Mopey ebook is now ready for fulfillment. For $7, you receive the book in EPUB and PDF formats. If you were a backer of our Indiegogo campaign or have ordered the book via this website, you should have already received an email from us providing a download link. If not, please email us at contact(at)mammothismopey(dot)com and we’ll send it lickety-split.

The ebook version isn’t simply a digital collection of print book pages. Instead, we’ve expanded it to twice its original length. A new section, “Meet Mammoth and Friends,” provides more information about each animal. We present information about where they’re from and when they lived with map and timeline graphics. You’ll learn about their size, and each page includes a short text about natural history concepts – anything from broad approaches to fossil interpretation used by paleontologists to specifics of the families the animals belong to.

Working on the new “Meet Mammoth and Friends” material was tricky! Since these illustrations are not meant to be rigorously accurate life restorations in the way proper paleoart is, they don’t always have proper proportions. Synapsids in the family Caseidae were tiny-headed, barrel-bodied critters, for sure, but Cozy Cotylorhynchus exaggerates it a bit. Still, we think we offer a pretty good, rough idea of how large the animals were using our scale indicator graphic: a young girl named Rose and her pet terrier, Gregory.

A sample page from the "Meet Mammoth and Friends" section of the ebook.
A sample page from the “Meet Mammoth and Friends” section of the ebook.

Watch this space in the near future for even more fun information about the stars of Mammoth is Mopey. Pick up your ebook today, and remember that every hardcover order includes the ebook, too!

July Update

Mammoth is Mopey hardcover book June flew by, didn’t it? Since our exhibition at Wonderlab opened, we have been in full-on fulfillment mode. Packaging buttons (all 1,026!), ordering and signing prints, filling out customs forms, and numbering every book in the edition of 1,000. Now the packages are all stuffed and it’s time to send them to their new homes.

The next major task on the plate is for David to finish up the ebook. He decided to add quite a bit of information to the electronic version of Mammoth is Mopey (it’s more than twice the length of the hardcover version), explaining more about what scientists have discovered about the animals, what their relatives were like, and why David illustrated them the way he did. Now that he doesn’t have to balance working on that with fulfilling Indiegogo orders and working his day job, he can focus on wrapping it up. We will be back with another announcement when those download codes are going out.

When we look at these boxes of books and packages ready to ship, it really is staggering to think about that roller coaster six weeks this spring when we ran our Indiegogo campaign. We worked hard to stay positive when we worried that the campaign would not succeed. That optimism was a bit easier due to the unsolicited advocacy of so many folks on social media. Wonderful reviews from Emily Willoughby, Mark Witton, Chris DiPiazza, Erich Bacher, and The Finch and Pea were especially motivational, and sent traffic to the campaign that translated to pledges.

At the risk of sounding repetitive: Thank you to all of our supporters!

Science A-Z at Wonderlab

Welcome to the new Mammoth is Mopey website! Our book, which was funded by over 300 generous backers at Indiegogo, is currently in production. We’re preparing to launch the book with an exhibition at Bloomington’s Wonderlab children’s museum on June 3.

Science A-Z will be on display from June 3, 2015 until January 23, 2016. From Wonderlab’s website:

Celebrate the connection between science and literacy! Whatever your age, this new exhibition takes you on an exciting treasure hunt throughout the museum to find a different science experience for each letter of the alphabet. The 26 interactive stations cover everything from biomechanics to magnetism to solar power – and more! This is a whimsical approach to learning about science and building vocabulary, especially scientific language. Watch for volunteers in the galleries who will engage you in fun “pocket science” activities as well.

Wonderlab is truly a wonderful resource for parents and caregivers in the Bloomington area, and consistently holds fun and enriching activities. Keep up with the events calendar and follow Wonderlab on Facebook.