Critter of the Week: Camarasaurus

Meet Bella. She’s big, she’s loud, and she’s really happy to see you! She’s happy to see anyone really, except Alfred, but can you blame her? There’s about a-bazillion years of conflict going on there…


There she is! She is the most accommodating of Pete’s very large camarasaurus herd- voted least likely to accidentally trample the equipment. They can be an excitable bunch, and don’t always pay attention to what they’re bumping into. I’ll just say that when Pete finally got her separated from the herd there was a tractor, some flags, an air horn, and a rubber chicken involved…

These Camaras are more closely related to the smaller wild species, C. lentus (there are 3 🙂 ), which are only about 49 feet long. But that’s still a lot of sauropod on the move, especially when you multiply it by 80!

Why so many?

Paleontologists may call Bella the ugliest sauropod, but they’re pretty popular for anyone with plenty of pasture. Their friendly and calm, cow-like attitude makes them an easier alternative to the larger giants like Elmer.

If only they weren’t so loud! But some may call Bella’s singing endearing. It’s lovely to hear their chorus far out to pasture.

Have the video play in the background while you look at Bella above, I can’t help laughing at the mental picture of 50 or 100 of these fat, happy sauropods calling to each other constantly. In a herd of such large animals, you don’t really need stealth. 😀


Making progress…


dummy chart10.jpg
Can you spot the little parakeet in each pet shop scene? 😀

So close!  Two more pages and I can print this thing!  Then I’ll get to work on revamping Dippy vs. Ball before Baby arrives. 😀  The break will allow me to show the dummy book to other people and “test” it on some other kids aside from my own.  It’ll also ensure I look at it with fresh eyes to make final changes before working on the final illustrations.

For example, I already know I want to switch the brother and sister on the spread where they meet Steggy. Since the story is told from the brother’s perspective, and he’s wondering if his sister will like Steggy, it makes more sense to me that he would be the one reaching out to pet the dinosaur.

I’m also still working on the whole “magic elevator” concept.  Playing around with its design and what I want it to look like.  I really like the idea of an ammonite fossil with sections that glow for each time period, like the glowing numbers on a vintage elevator. But I’m not sure how to show the time period the family is going to…at the moment I have a sloppy label, but I’ve been considering leaving a simple glow.  I want it to be simple, but not so simple that it’s confusing and doesn’t give important info.

The spread below will show the ammonite above the elevator, so I played with the idea a bit…

Time period page_color.jpg

Meet the critters page.jpg

Which leads to the featured critters from the time period! 😀 There will be many more creatures than these hidden within the foliage on the pet shop scenes, which readers can find out more about by coming here to the site.  These are just stand-ins for now, since some of them need some reworking to fit into the space better (Dippy and Ajax are looking particularly awkward).

I’m not sure I like the multicolored rectangles…

Next up is the back cover.  It works for now, but I’d be happy to hear any critique for how it can be better. 🙂 It’s simple, it has important info that’s easy to see, and that’s what matters. Since this will be published as an 8×8 paperback (due to printing constraints with Amazon Createspace), the author bio is on the back.  Eventually, probably by book 3 or 4, the series may become popular enough to make crowdfunding a realistic option.

That may be 10 years down the road…But when that day comes, then we can shoot for the lovely (bigger) hardback with the special end-pages and book jacket. 😀  Big dreams over here.  Big dreams. 😛  Who knows, it might happen sooner, since I plan to release a number of short mini-comics like Dippy vs. Ball during the long preparation phases of each picture book.

Back cover.jpg


Coming Next Week…

These two love making new friends, especially if you have a treat…

Share your guess in the comments! They’re a couple of critters over on the critter page. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Camarasaurus

  1. Two pages to go! Almost finished (Well,the dummy book) You have come a long way! Great to see all the pages completed,feels really finished,i can already imagine it in my hands 😀 Still don’t know why people call Camarasaurus ugly,for me they’re elegant,i think the ugliest is Nigersaurus.10 years isn’t much,when that comes,you will feel like it’s just been a week after you published this book.Now,do you have a publisher for the book already? Or at least planned? Next COTW is Copper and Daisy


    1. Hi Kaprosaurus! You have no idea how truly excited I am to always see you stop by. ☺️

      I think Camarasaurus is just so common, that it can be a bit of a “plain Jane” to a lot of people. And any shrink-wrapped skull looks ugly, especially if it’s a “plain” boxy shape. 😉

      Nigersaurus is very interesting, and just plain weird! I’ll have to include that one at some point, but I think it’ll need to wait for the Cretaceous.

      And tell me about it, Hubby and I recently celebrated our 6th anniversary, and it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s been 6 years already. 10 years go by fast. ☺️ Especially when you consider that it takes most authors that much time to start earning a real income.

      I’ll be self-publishing the books to start off with. I won’t really consider going with a traditional publisher until I’m at least several books into the series, and only if I get a really good deal. At some point I’ll write a post about the pros and cons of both kinds of publishing, and why I’ve chosen to go indie. ☺️

      Would you be interested enough to get a completely separate post about it, or should I share the short version in a COTW post?

      And speaking of COTW, you got it! Copper and Daisy will be joining us next week. ☺️

      Thank you for stopping by! 😁


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