I absolutely love Karen Watson's new art show poster! I know I'll be printing one out and framing it. I am so excited for her solo art show featuring the original artwork from The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and other work inspired by classic tales! Stay tuned for photos from the actual show opening on July 26th. And please check out her recently updated website!
For Mother's Day this year, I ordered myself a custom Piratess Tilly rag doll by Lisa of Phoebe & Egg. I found Lisa's beautiful handmade dolls through Etsy. Working with her was wonderful! She is so passionate about her craft. I sent her a copy of the book for reference. Little did I know, she would use it to create so many detailed accessories, including Tilly's pink fuzzy slippers, a map, satchel, striped shirt and of course, the eye patch!!
Lisa is truly talented and her work is incredible. Below are some photos from when my daughter, Vivi (age 3) and I opened the box for the first time! Lisa also wrote a lovely blog post about her experience creating this rag doll version of Piratess Tilly. You can read that here! Thank you!
"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."
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
"Tells a thoughtful, eco-conscious story with a strong female lead, ideal for kids interested in poetry and adventure." -Kirkus Reviews
"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!
A special thank you to the Greater Newburyport Mothers and Familes Club for the lovely interview (and for granting me permission to share it with all of you!) as their 'Member Spotlight' in the current newsletter! A highlight from the interview:
I hope that children feel inspired to be their own captain ~ to explore, question, study, observe, give back and be a part of their community. I hope that seeing a girl be the leader of her crew, her ship and her rescue missions not only empowers young girls, but influences young boys too.
*** As I'm sure the interview was too long, it seems a paragraph was cut. I'm posting it below. It's in regards to the question about advice for others who are interested in writing. ***
"For others interested in writing or specifically writing for children, I would suggest taking a writing class. Writing for children is actually not as easy as some people tend to think and there are helpful guidelines to know ahead of time. I would also suggest joining the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. They're a fantastic organization with forums and regional conferences as well as meet-ups and workshops. "
I hope you enjoy the interview!
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!
As someone who wants to promote strong female-lead characters and stories to my young daughter, I thought I would share (in no particular order) some of our current favorite picture books. And as Piratess Tilly (from The Adventures of Piratess Tilly written by Elizabeth Lorayne and illustrated by Karen Watson) is a curious naturalist who is also a leader, explorer and protector, I tend to lean towards books that instill such qualities. I hope you find this list inspiring and helpful!
1. Butterfly Park by Elly Mackay
I have a passion for collage and anything paper related so I was particularly thrilled to discover this unique and stunning picture book designed with paper-cut illustration! Add a beautiful story of a young girl who longs to rebuild a neighborhood butterfly garden by sharing her curiosity and passion with her local community, and I am wholly inspired and touched.
2. Deer Dancer written by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Lauren Stringer
A lovely story about a young girl who finds her inner strength, her “voice”, through dancing in a field where she meets a deer. She practices with the deer, both dancing to a silent song by Mother Nature. The whimsical and lively illustrations perfectly accentuate this empowering story of self-discovery through perseverance, movement and nature.
3. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
A personal favorite of mine. One that I remember from my own childhood. We follow Miss Rumphius as she pursues her childhood dreams and goals of traveling and eventually settling down by the sea. Her ultimate goal, one that was bestowed on her by her grandfather, of contributing to the world by doing something beautiful, tugs at her heart. She eventually feels inspired by nature and spreads beauty throughout the countryside! A magnificent, gentle story of self-reliance and finding beauty in small acts.
4. Journey by Aaron Becker
An absolutely remarkable book. It is a story without words ~ just amazing artwork that truly inspires the imagination. Without the words, it is a fabulous way to encourage and invite young people to tell the story they see. That alone is empowering!
5. Ladybug Girl (at the beach) by David Soman and Jacky Davis
We found these books (it’s a lovely series) when my daughter was an infant. We’ve both enjoyed being a part of Ladybug Girl’s adventures. They are friendly, while also subtly teaching about bravery, or empathy or compassion, for instance. The beach story is a personal favorite as it follows Ladybug Girl while she visits the beach for the first time ~ an experience that can be overwhelming and frightening. It is fun reading and seeing, in the lovely watercolors, how Ladybug Girl plays and investigates the beach!
6. Rosie Revere, Engineer written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts
Quite the lyrical tale of a small girl who wants to be an engineer! The artwork is fantastic and fun. The historical reference to the original Rosie the Riveter is lovely and intriguing ~ an uplifting story of learning perseverance and the importance of following your heart, even when mistakes are made.
7. Me. . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell
For someone who grew up admiring Dr. Jane Goodall, I knew this book would be enjoyed by myself and my daughter. It is a cute and inspiring account of who Dr. Goodall was as a child and how those interests, her patience, her research and her determination lead her to become as revered and important as she is today. An empowering story told simply and beautifully, followed by a call to action ~ ways to get involved and help make the world a better place.
I've been working this week on a hand-sewn Piratess Tilly doll! I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! It measures about 3 inches in height. My hope and plan is to offer it for sale along with a a sort of play "house." I'm working on the logistics of a folding play venue featuring open-ended scenes from book. I hope you enjoy the pictures below! For more frequent updates, please follow us on Facebook! Thanks!!
I am so excited to announce that The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and the author, Elizabeth Lorayne, were mentioned in the local newspaper, Eagle-Tribune. Elizabeth was quoted about her experience reading to the children at the American Training, Inc. book event last week. From the printed paper:
"... 'I couldn't be more honored to have read my children's picture book to this group of enthusiastic and involved children. Hearing them excitedly respond when asked interactive questions throughout the book reading, was beyond words.' said Elizabeth.
She handed out signed copies of her book to each of the young students which as met with a sea of 'thank you's.'
'That's my new favorite book,' said Disnelson. The others students agreed.
'Any event that encourages literacy and love of reading is a great event or our kids. They're like little sponges. It was real bonus for the author herself to be here to read to them and talk to them,' said Marice DiLorenze, Academic Coach for the elementary school..."
This was a truly incredible experience! I am so thankful I was asked to participate. Please read the entire story below. It's quite heart-warming! ;)
If you're interested in adopting your own bunny, please visit www.Rabbit.org to learn more and to find your local House Rabbit Society chapter for consultation.
Happy Easter and Spring!
I had my very first book reading event today! It was part of a larger cause -- a book drive for a school that has little to no library. Until now!
We are very excited to announce that on this Sunday (March 8th at 7pm EST) Elizabeth Lorayne will be interviewed and doing a live reading of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly on Take 2 Radio JR, a new addition to the Take 2 Radio Network (Take 2 Radio is one of the Top 300 Shows on Blogtalk Radio out of over 15k shows! Over 1.7 million listeners!)! To learn more and to tune in on Sunday, click here!