Piratess Tilly Book Launch + Cure SPG47 Fundraiser

The Piratess Tilly Book Launch and Cure SPG47 Fundraiser on Saturday, May 13th, 2017 was a beautiful success. The location could not have been more appropriate than in the “Hall of Ships” at the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport, a room in which a painting of ship Tennyson hangs proudly. For it is this ship that a woman – Mary Newton Lunt Graves – in 1860 took control and safely brought it to port when her husband, Captain Alexander Graves, became disabled. How could we not launch Piratess Tilly’s second girl-empowering sea adventure in this maritime museum with such inspiring historical stories!

Author Elizabeth Lorayne with Kasey Edwards, co-founder of Cure SPG47 and her daughter, Robbie.

Author Elizabeth Lorayne with Kasey Edwards, co-founder of Cure SPG47 and her daughter, Robbie.

The Custom House Maritime Museum itself was so generous with their support that admission was free for the length of the event! Guests got to not only get their books signed, work on a book related craft (coloring pages and a paper hang glider), grab an organic lollipop, watch the slide show of the book itself, and browse the overflowing totes for the raffle, but they also got the chance to peruse the museum and soak in a dose of history. 

I would like to take a moment to thank Newburyport Montessori School because it was there that I first met Kasey Edwards and her two children, Davis and Robbie. Kasey is the kind of person who radiates love, patience, strength, and perseverance. I am in awe of her grace and determination. I encourage you to follow their story on Curespg47.org and on their Facebook page. Their fundraising journey to study and, hopefully, find a cure for hereditary spastic paraplegia, type 47 has just started and I am thrilled to be writing them a check that includes nearly 100 book sale proceeds and raffle ticket sales of $1,858. Siga Snipas and Gretchen Stone of Bean Group will be writing them their own checks ($5/book sold at the event) for a grand total of $2,233! No doubt Piratess Tilly and koala Yuki are just as proud!

When I first had the idea exactly 2 months prior, I had no idea how generous and encouraging Newburyport shops, businesses, and friends would be in supporting the book launch and Cure SPG47 fundraiser. From newburyport.com sharing the story, to a childhood best friend flying from Seattle, to Siga Snipas and Gretchen Stone of Bean Group jointly pledging $5 per book sold, I feel truly fortunate and grateful – it was a magical morning and experience. As a keepsake for those who attended the event and even for those supported Cure SPG47 through online book sales that week, people received a double-sided bookmark featuring the businesses that contributed and a red ribbon tassel. 

From the moment the party started until shortly after the raffle drawing, there was a wonderful and continuous line of families wanting books and raffle tickets, but one family I will always remember, for they are related to another child in Seattle who also has hereditary spastic paraplegia, type 47. Signing the Piratess Tilly books in her honor was truly special.

Robbie Edwards drawing 1 of the 3 winning raffles!

Robbie Edwards drawing 1 of the 3 winning raffles!

As a child, I had watched my mother organize rather grand fundraisers. It was particularly meaningful for me to have my own young daughter see the work and passion it takes, no matter the scale, to orchestrate a successful fundraising event. And I couldn’t think of a better way to include the children related to myself and the Edwards family than by having them draw the winning raffle tickets! 

Thank all of the businesses who donated products, services, and gift certificates:  Shanti Salon, Repose Yoga StudioPort City Integrative HealthGreater Newburyport Mother's and Family ClubWillow Event PlanningButtermilk BakeryBrooke Whicher PhotographyPretty PoppyCustom House Maritime MuseumKaren Watson ArtSoufflesInterlocks Salon + SpaSoakGrand TrunkMotivateBC Essentials, Seacoast Sweets, & Joppa Fine Foods

And a huge rounds of thanks to each of you who attended the event or ordered books online through the Piratess Tilly shop to support Cure SPG47! This was a truly beautiful morning and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart. –Elizabeth Lorayne

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!

Shop is now Open & Save the Date!

Thrilled to announce that you can now get your copy of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly: Easter Island!  

Visit the shop here!

Plus, Save the Date!  Plans have been made for The Adventures of Piratess Tilly: Easter Island book launch party! It'll be held at the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport, May 13th from 10-12pm! And because Piratess Tilly is passionate about raising awareness and helping those in need: All proceeds from book sales will be donated to Cure SPG47 to help a Newburyport friend's young daughter with research for her genetic disease! We're working on making it a bigger fundraiser with some possible raffles as well – Please save the date!

Featured in 2/1/17 edition of Kirkus Reviews Magazine!

I am proud to share that The Adventures of Piratess Tilly: Easter Island Kirkus review was selected as 1 of 35 indie reviews to be featured in the February 1, 2017 edition of Kirkus Reviews printed Magazine. You can see the review on page 182 or read it below. It is such an honor to now have been selected for both Piratess Tilly books! 

If you are a book shop or library and are interested in procuring copies, please subscribe for updates below or check back here (PiratessTilly.com) the first week of March when both the 2nd edition of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly (now including biographies on the historical figures Charles Darwin and Beatrix Potter as well as a glossary) and its sequel, The Adventures of Piratess Tilly: Easter Island will be available! 

Thank you again for all of the support! 

"In this second installment of an ecologically based adventure series for children, a young naturalist and ship’s captain sails to a remote island and discovers a threat to the local wildlife.

Piratess Tilly—the refreshingly bold, smart heroine introduced in Lorayne’s debut picture book (The Adventures of Piratess Tilly, 2016), illustrated by Watson—takes to the sea again on her research ship, the Foster. She’s accompanied by her friend Yuki (a rescued koala bear) and the seven orphan boys who make up her diverse crew. Their destination: Easter Island. Unfolding in graceful haiku, the tale follows passionate naturalist Tilly (“An explorer’s dress / Patch pockets for her notebooks / Trade tools in her bag”) as she studies the mysterious Moai statues and scuba dives to observe marine life native to the area, sketching and cataloging what she sees. The trip takes an unexpected turn when the crew encounters pirates raiding the nests of sooty terns in an egg-smuggling venture, and the group launches a successful rescue effort, led by parasailing Tilly and Yuki. (In the first Tilly adventure, a trip to the Galápagos Islands became a mission to save baby giant tortoises from the clutches of another band of pirates.) Lorayne’s poetic text is fully integrated into Watson’s lovely watercolor images, executed with an eye for captivating detail. The tale delivers enough escapades and suspense to satisfy a young audience, but the author also includes ample learning opportunities to encourage children to seek out the story’s substantial real-life underpinnings. These include examples of sailors’ knots, a glossary of words and terms—endemic, expeditions, trade winds, thermals, etc.—and various fish species skillfully rendered by Watson. In addition, the volume features short biographies of Tilly’s 19th- and 20th-century inspirations, Charles Darwin (“Darwin on her shelves / Evokes her scholarly dreams / Coral reefs and fish”) and anthropologist Katherine Routledge, written by science historian Michael Barton and archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg.

An eye-pleasing picture book that offers a winning mix of adventure, science, and poetry, with a strong heroine who invites readers to view the world as a place of natural wonder." –Kirkus Reviews


An eye-pleasing picture book that offers a winning mix of adventure, science, and poetry, with a strong heroine who invites readers to view the world as a place of natural wonder.
— Kirkus Reviews

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

Kirkus Reviews: Piratess Tilly Easter Island

An eye-pleasing picture book that offers a winning mix of adventure, science, and poetry, with a strong heroine who invites readers to view the world as a place of natural wonder. --Kirkus Reviews

Wow! The first industry review is in for the upcoming sequel, The Adventures of Piratess Tilly Easter Island (February 2017, White Wave Press). I am incredibly grateful that the reviewer at Kirkus Reviews both recognized and appreciated the story development and the educational additions (glossary and short bios on Tilly's historical heroes). Onward we go!

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this second installment of an ecologically based adventure series for children, a young naturalist and ship’s captain sails to a remote island and discovers a threat to the local wildlife.

Piratess Tilly—the refreshingly bold, smart heroine introduced in Lorayne’s debut picture book (The Adventures of Piratess Tilly, 2016), illustrated by Watson—takes to the sea again on her research ship, the Foster. She’s accompanied by her friend Yuki (a rescued koala bear) and the seven orphan boys who make up her diverse crew. Their destination: Easter Island. Unfolding in graceful haiku, the tale follows passionate naturalist Tilly (“An explorer’s dress / Patch pockets for her notebooks / Trade tools in her bag”) as she studies the mysterious Moai statues and scuba dives to observe marine life native to the area, sketching and cataloging what she sees. The trip takes an unexpected turn when the crew encounters pirates raiding the nests of sooty terns in an egg-smuggling venture, and the group launches a successful rescue effort, led by parasailing Tilly and Yuki. (In the first Tilly adventure, a trip to the Galapagos Islands became a mission to save baby giant tortoises from the clutches of another band of pirates.) Lorayne’s poetic text is fully integrated into Watson’s lovely watercolor images, executed with an eye for captivating detail. The tale delivers enough escapades and suspense to satisfy a young audience, but the author also includes ample learning opportunities to encourage children to seek out the story’s substantial real-life underpinnings. These include examples of sailors’ knots, a glossary of words and terms—endemic, expeditions, trade winds, thermals, etc.—and various fish species skillfully rendered by Watson. In addition, the volume features short biographies of Tilly’s 19th- and 20th-century inspirations, Charles Darwin (“Darwin on her shelves / Evokes her scholarly dreams / Coral reefs and fish”) and anthropologist Katherine Routledge, written by science historian Michael Barton and archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg.

An eye-pleasing picture book that offers a winning mix of adventure, science, and poetry, with a strong heroine who invites readers to view the world as a place of natural wonder.

Piratess Tilly Easter Island Trailer!

I am very proud and excited to share the book trailer for the upcoming sequel, The Adventures of Piratess Tilly Easter Island, read by the author Elizabeth Lorayne! Enjoy! https://youtu.be/4XUb-a0AV-8

Event: 11/5 at Strawbery Banke Museum

strawbery_banke_event.jpg My colleague Maria Kamoulakou of Sky Cloud City and  I am looking forward to meeting families and other local authors at the 2nd annual Children's Author Festival at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH on Saturday 11/5 from 11am-3pm. I hope to see you there!

Update: The Adventures of Piratess Tilly Easter Island!

The months of research and writing; illustration and painting; and now book design are all finished for the sequel -- due out January 2017! More updates to come, but I am feeling immensely proud of this book and cannot wait to share it with all of you! piratess_tilly_easter_island_cover_150

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!

Newburyport Maritime Days Recap!

Somehow between the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, the last few weeks have flown by! I am most excited to finally share the wonderful reception The Adventures of Piratess Tilly had at the Newburyport Maritime Days event over Memorial Day weekend.

I first want to say 'wow!' The entire week that the 16th Century Spanish tall ship, El Galeón was here in Newburyport was not just exciting for our city, but it ended up being an incredibly magical experience for me. Through the Custom House Maritime Museum, I had the opportunity to meet with the captain of the ship - the only female captain of a tall ship in the world! I presented Captain Rosario Fernandez Rodriguez with a copy of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and from that moment, time melted away as we spoke for over two hours. I've written an article about this interview and you can read about it here.

With that experience of meeting Captain Rosario Fernandez Rodriguez coupled with the backdrop of a tall ship in our port, I went into the 3-day event beaming - and I couldn't be more thrilled with how it unfolded! Although the weather was rather finicky, one day being 90 degrees and the next being cold and windy, the overall reception was incredible.

People whole-heartedly loved the entire concept of Piratess Tilly - the haiku, the art, the girl-empowerment, the conservationism. They loved the dolls and the blank greeting cards - all of the add-ons I've created.  And lastly, but in no small way, they seemed to love meeting me - the author and publisher. I always offered to sign the book and the look of excitement the children got was not just meaningful - it was magical.

I started prepping for this 3 day event a few weeks before. As it was my first outdoor event, I was starting from scratch. I bought an E-Z UP Envoy Instant Shelter Canopy and it truly was easy to set-up. I scouted Marshalls for baskets to hold the books and plushies, picture frames for prices, industry reviews and awards, and a tray to hold the blank greeting cards I ordered from Moo that featured Karen Watson's artwork from the book.

The second line of business was all of the signage and extra add-ons. I used one of the images from the book to create a tapestry through Society6. The tapestry made a perfect, eye-catching table cloth!

 

maritime days prep 3 blog 

I designed a  2.5'x4' banner through VistaPrint and kept my fingers crossed I'd be able to easily hang it up. ;)  I then employed Kendra Shedenhelm to create a coloring poster with her doll and tool illustrations, with the idea that kids would stop and color it on their way to the ship. Inspired by the poster design, I created coloring postcards to hand out to kids who stopped by my table. Although the coloring poster didn't work out, the postcards did! One side featured either Piratess Tilly or Yuki, while the other was a collage of her tools. I ran out of the 100 postcards by the middle of day 2 so started to pass out Piratess Tilly and Yuki stickers instead.

maritime days prep 1 blog

Just a few days before the event, I felt inspired to create a small, double-sided card to enclose with each purchase. One side featured the Australian Koala Foundation, of which a portion of sales go towards, and the other had a condensed definition of a "Piratess." These I printed myself on my laser printer and cut by hand.

maritime days prep 2 blog.jpg

I also had information displayed about the other artists and crafters who have helped to create the Piratess Tilly and Yuki plushies and the custom-made Piratess Tilly rag doll by Phoebe&Egg. A special thank you to Gretchen Joy for her work as local seamstress and a big thank you to Kendra Shedenhelm who worked with me for a year to design the plushies!

Thank you to everyone who came out and stopped by the Piratess Tilly tent! It won't be our last event, that is for sure. So please, stay tuned!

maritime days thank you

 

 

Newburyport Maritime Days

Come join Elizabeth Lorayne this Memorial Day weekend in Newburyport, MA at her booth exhibiting The Adventures of Piratess Tilly books, handmade plushies & peg dolls and more! White Wave Press is one of 50 local artisans and vendors featured in The Newburyport Collection on the Custom House Waterfront Lawn in downtown Newburyport. This portion of the festival is open Saturday through Monday 9am to 5pm. It is a part of the week long Newburyport Maritime Days, a celebration of visiting Spanish Tall Ship, El Galeón! For more information on all of the awesome events and for tickets to take a tour of the 17th century replica Tall Ship, El Galeón please visit here. I hope to see you this weekend!

Piratess Tilly and Newburyport Maritime Days

Art Class & NPM16: Haiku Day 13

Today I held my first private art lesson with the medium being collage. The students were two sisters, ages 11 and 10. We each had a great time! Neither of them had done much art with collage before so I created a project that I felt would be a nice introduction: creating collages inspired by "energetic" and "calm" scenes or elements from nature. It was certainly fun to watch the girls work on their projects and I couldn't be more pleased with their results!

The 11 year old created her "energetic" collage using the nature elements of shooting stars and stars, as seen on the left. The 10 year old created her "calm" collage with a tree, river and sunset!

Collage Class Finished Art 3-13-16

We didn't discuss how something "energetic"or "calm" are generally portrayed in art and design as I had initially intended to, but it didn't feel necessary when I presented the pile of decorative papers and various scissors (some had scalloped blades etc.). I was also just simply curious to see how they'd react to the first assignment altogether, without too much direction. And I feel they did a splendid job!

Studio Prep for Collage Class 3-13-16

The class was so much fun and wonderfully exciting that it inspired my National Poetry Writing Month haiku:

After learning more about the girls, I'm planning an assignment around one of their passions -- illustrating and writing comic strips.  Onto the next class!