Macaroni Kid's Interview with Elizabeth Lorayne

Meet Piratess Tilly at the Custom House Museum Family Fun Days

By Emily Cowan, Editor/Publisher
Apr 11, 2017

April's Family Fun Days sail into the Custom House Maritime Museum next week, along with a special appearance by Piratess Tilly, the heroine of two critically acclaimed books by local author and Newburyport mom Elizabeth Lorayne. We caught up with Elizabeth to find out more about the book series and its focus on a smart, strong female character who loves science and exploration.

Newburyport Macaroni Kid: Many children's-book authors are inspired to write because they perceive a gap in representation for a certain kind of kid. Did you feel that there was something missing from bookshelves?

Elizabeth Lorayne: When I first felt inspired to create the character of Piratess Tilly, I had observed a huge gap on the bookshelves. I saw far too few picture books with strong, intelligent, compassionate, relatable (to me), adventuresome heroines, let alone ones interested in science and history. And I therefore wanted more for my own daughter and for myself – I even wanted to see someone who represented pieces of myself as a child because I imagined I wasn't the only one who was was curious about nature. Or who cared about saving the animals and the planet. Or who was a leader. Or who loved being outside – on the water sailing. 

Continue reading the full interview here!

Free Children's eBook!

In the spirit of holiday giving, I'm offering my ebook for free! In this picture book, written in haiku, an adventurous girl and her crew of orphaned boys sail the high seas and intercept a band of pirates kidnapping tortoises on the Galapagos Islands!

"Tilly—tough, daring and scientifically minded—is a capable heroine with an enviable life at sea." —Publishers Weekly

ebook_promo_piratesstilly
ebook_promo_piratesstilly

Happy 150th Birthday to Beatrix Potter: conservationist, scientist, artist, author and businesswoman!

Beatrix Potter 150th birthday tribute

Today is Beatrix Potter's 150th birthday! And what a day it is in England, with celebrations, an auction selling some of her original works and a series of Royal Mail stamps depicting several of her famous characters.

Some of what inspired me to include Beatrix Potter as one of Piratess Tilly's heroes is Potter's dedication to land conservationism. With the money she made from her books, she bought the adjoining lands and farms in the Lake District of England in order to save and protect them — eventually donating 4,000 acres of land and 15 farms to the National Trust.

Piratess Tilly Potter and Darwin sample pageBeatrix Potter was also passionate about botany and specifically the study of fungi — a scientist in her own right, she developed her own theory on how fungi spores reproduced. Her scientific paper was never properly published, but scientists today still recognize her contribution to mycology.

Potter was also not only a talented artist and writer, but she was a keen businesswoman — creating and licensing the first ever literary character doll and other accompanying accessories. And, as so many know, she published her first book, The Tales of Peter Rabbit, on her own — a self-publisher! I look forward to one day visiting the Lake District and seeing for myself the beauty that inspired such a phenomenal, adventurous woman.

PIratess Tilly Beatrix Potter Picture books

And as The Adventures of Piratess Tilly is a children's picture book, I'd like to take a moment to share two children's picture books that my little one and I enjoy about Beatrix Potter: Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box by David McPhail and Beatrix Potter by Alexandra Wallner. I have also ordered this newly released book: Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig, written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Charlotte Voake. I look forward to adding it to our collection!

 Learn more about Beatrix Potter here!

2016 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award Finalist!

First-Horizon-Finalist-Seal Wow! I am thrilled and honored to announce that The Adventures of Piratess Tilly is a Finalist for the 2016 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award, which celebrates best first books! "Each year, the Eric Hoffer Award presents the First Horizon Award for superior work by debut authors (i.e the first published book of any type by the author). This is an additional distinction beneath the Eric Hoffer Award umbrella."

How incredibly exciting! Onward and upward!

Softcover now available!

Softcover Piratess Tilly Give-away What wonderful timing to share both the latest Amazon Review and the news that a softcover version of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly is now available directly from Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Review on Amazon:

We LOVE this book! My five year old daughter loves it just as much as my eight year old son. First, I look to read stories with my children that have a strong female lead character. This is an empowering, uplifting and "feel good" story for both girls and boys. Written in Haiku, Tilly and her crew go on exciting adventures together. The watercolor illustrations are beautiful. I can't wait to read further adventures of Tilly and her crew.

Happy Monday!

Plushies Available Now!

Piratess Tilly and Yuki Plushie listing double pic BC I am so excited to announce that the locally handmade Piratess Tilly and Yuki plushies are now available for purchase! I am also looking forward to sharing the process of designing these dolls in a future post, as it was quite the undertaking for someone who doesn't sew. ;)  I am very proud of the dolls and love watching my daughter play with Piratess Tilly and Yuki. It really does take the story to a whole new level when a child can interact with dolls based on the characters.

From the shop:

These adorable variations of the characters, Piratess Tilly and Yuki, bring the story to life in an enchanting, cuddly, hands-on way. They help to encourage exploration and imagination. Whether everyone snuggles up to read a book, go on a family vacation or head out on a backyard expedition; these soft toys are bound to inspire story-telling and creative play. Where will Piratess Tilly, Yuki and your little one adventure to today?!

Check them out here. Thank you!

 

Finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year!

I am so honored and proud to announce that The Adventures of Piratess Tilly is a Finalist for the 2015 Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards (category: children's picture books)! This is absolutely wonderful recognition! Winners will be announced at the American Library Association Annual Conference in June. I am posting Foreword Reviews' press release below. Thank you to everyone for their support. Onward and upward!

Foreword Reviews Announces Finalists for 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards

Traverse City, MI, March 7, 2016—Foreword Reviews, a media company devoted to reviewing books from small, independent publishers and university presses, is pleased to announce the finalists for its 18th annual INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards.

Visit the Foreword Reviews website for a full list of the finalists, searchable by genre.

Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd. In the next three months, a panel of more than 130 volunteer librarians and booksellers will determine the winners in 66 categories based on their experience with readers and patrons.

“The 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “The strength of this list of finalists is further proof that small, independent publishers are taking their rightful place as the new driving force of the entire publishing industry.”

Foreword Reviews will celebrate the winners during a program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida in June. We will also name the Editor’s Choice Prize 2015 for Fiction, Nonfiction and Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Publisher of the Year Award during the presentation.


About Foreword: Foreword Magazine, Inc is a media company featuring a Folio:-award-winning quarterly print magazine, Foreword Reviews, and a website devoted to independently published books. In the magazine, they feature reviews of the best 170 new titles from independent publishers, university presses, and noteworthy self-published authors. Their website features daily updates: reviews along with in-depth coverage and analysis of independent publishing from a team of more than 100 reviewers, journalists, and bloggers. The print magazine is available at most Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million newsstands or by subscription. You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. They are headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, USA.

https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/finalists/2015/press-release/

Plushie Dolls Update!

Woohoo!!! The Piratess Tilly and Yuki handmade plushies are good to go! I am so excited!!! What a process and experience to get to this point! A special thanks to Kendra Shedenhelm for her amazing work on these! Stay tuned -- I'll be listing the first set in the next week!          

Call for Children's Reviews

We loved reading what Finny D-B. had to say about The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and would love to feature another child's review. Feel free to use the questions provided here on the site, or come up with your own! Please email Elizabeth with your answers or with any questionsat whitewavepressbooks@gmail.com. Thank you! Piratess Tilly Call for Children's Reviews

Darwin Day Sale!

It's Charles Darwin's Birthday and to celebrate we're having a sale!!! Shop now to share Piratess Tilly's appreciation for Charles Darwin and her own adventure on the  Galapagos Islands with your family. <3 <3 <3 Charles Darwin Birthday Darwin Day Sale

Piratess Tilly in . . . Easter Island!

I am beyond thrilled to announce that Karen Watson and I are moving forward with the next book in The Adventure of Piratess Tilly series! She and her crew are headed to Easter Island! Here is the very first watercolor illustration!  

Piratess Tilly Easter Island Promo

From the Crow's Nest: Reviews by Children

Introducing a new series, From the Crow's Nest, featuring children's reviews of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly! Below is the first review by a 6 and half year old boy named Finny! Please feel free to download the review question ideas below and email Elizabeth Lorayne your child's answers at whitewavepressbooks@gmail.com. You can also find these on the activities page! Thank you! Enjoy!

Downloadable review question ideas:

Piratess Tilly Children's Book Review Questions

TODAY: Karen Watson's Art Show!

Today is Karen Watson's big art show opening: Drawn to Story, An Illustrated Art Show! Below are some snapshots from her preparation for the show. Here's to wishing her fantastic success today!  

***Update (July 27, 2015)***

The show opening was a wonderful success! Not only did Karen nearly sell out of her art work, but all 45 books were sold!! It was a truly remarkable opening party complete with garden flowers, delicious snacks and cookies spelling out the title of the show! Congratulations to Karen Watson!! Thank you to everyone who made the event so magical and meaningful. To view some short videos of the event, please visit our Facebook page. Cheers!

 

 

Kirkus Reviews Magazine, 7/1/15

I am incredibly honored that Kirkus Reviews chose their review of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly to be published as one of the 35 indie reviews in their bimonthly trade magazine. On top of this tremendous recognition, they quoted part of the actual review at the top of the page! I am sharing select images below (the cover and the two pages the review appears on).

 

Thanks!

~Elizabeth Lorayne

World Oceans Day 2015!

It's World Oceans Day today! How will you help to protect our oceans?!

"World Oceans Day, held every June 8th, is the United Nations-recognized day of ocean celebration and action. People all over our blue planet organize celebrations – which can be a huge event in your community, a special announcement, or anything in between – to support action to protect the ocean. This year, the theme is Healthy oceans, healthy planet, and we’re making a special effort to stop plastic pollution."

http://www.worldoceansday.org/

Piratess Tilly World Oceans Day whale pages

Piratess Tilly's Kirkus Review!

I am thrilled to share the glowing Kirkus review for The Adventures of Piratess Tilly. I am so excited, too, that the actual story being told through haiku has been so well accepted! A special thanks to each of you for your support!

A few highlights:

"Lorayne has written a thoughtful take on the pirate genre, with a female-led crew focused on science and discovery. There’s a strong awareness of ecology, though the text also still works as an adventure. The seamlessly incorporated haiku poems also work well, serving as an appreciable introduction to the poetic form for young readers. In addition to being lovely poems, the haiku clearly explain the moment." -Kirkus Reviews

One more:

"Tells a thoughtful, eco-conscious story with a strong female lead, ideal for kids interested in poetry and adventure." -Kirkus Reviews

KIRKUS REVIEW

"In this picture book, an adventurous girl and her crew of orphaned boys sail the high seas and intercept a band of pirates kidnapping tortoises.

Told in haiku, Lorayne’s debut picture book, with illustrations by Watson, introduces readers to Tilly, a girl with a courageous spirit and patched jeans who sails around the world on the Foster with her crew of orphaned boys. Together with Yuki, a koala Tilly rescued from Australia, they use a compass and star chart to explore the ocean, all while cataloging, sketching, and studying what they find, including whales, birds, and other sea life. All is calm until they head to the Galapagos Islands and spy pirates kidnapping baby giant tortoises. The crew of the Foster doesn’t hesitate to act and steal onto the pirates’ ship to right the wrong. Lorayne has written a thoughtful take on the pirate genre, with a female-led crew focused on science and discovery. There’s a strong awareness of ecology, though the text also still works as an adventure. The seamlessly incorporated haiku poems also work well, serving as an appreciable introduction to the poetic form for young readers. In addition to being lovely poems, the haiku clearly explain the moment. For instance, “Just off the port side / Magnificence of the sea / Humpback whales surface.” With such little text, Watson’s artwork has ample space on the page to help illustrate what’s happening. The beautiful watercolors feature rich colors and intricate details. Some of the vocabulary and references, such as one to Darwin, could be challenging for young readers, so the story offers plenty of opportunities for further investigation in the classroom or at home.

Tells a thoughtful, eco-conscious story with a strong female lead, ideal for kids interested in poetry and adventure." --Kirkus Reviews

To see the review on Kirkus, visit here!

Thank you,

Elizabeth Lorayne

Piratess Tilly's "Drawn to Story" art show

Karen Watson's solo art show, "Drawn to Story"  will be featuring the original artwork to The Adventures of Piratess Tilly! If you able to join her for the opening, July 26th from 1-3pm at the Gallery @ Artisan Square on Bowen Island in British Columbia, we would be thrilled! Books will be available for purchase as well!  

Drawn to Story Piratess Tilly art show