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!

Birthday Tribute Haiku: Dr. Jane Goodall

Today is Dr. Jane Goodall's 82nd birthday. She has inspired so many, including myself. I took a primate biology class my senior year of high school and remember being awe-struck by her fearlessness, observation, brilliance, passion and perseverance. She continues to speak and share her decades of experiences in the jungle, while calling upon each of us to own our individual responsibility in caring for and protecting our environment. For those with children and teens, I encourage you to read more about Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots community action programs. It's a wonderful way to inspire our youth and to keep Dr. Goodall's spirit prominent.

We owe so much to her grace and hard work bringing the world together in the name of Conservationism. I have taken a moment today to write a haiku in honor of Dr. Goodall. It's been combined with my very first collagraph, which was inspired by a riverbed. May each of us take a moment today to meditate upon her legacy and upon the importance of fighting for Mother Nature. 

Dr-Jane-Goodall-Tribute-Birthday-Haiku

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/

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

Custom Koala Yuki Gift Wrap!

Introducing wrapping paper designed to be colored by kids (and adults!). A special thank you to the illustrator, Kendra Shedenhelm (kendrashedenhelm.com)! It will be offered complimentary with purchases made this holiday season! Stay tuned for more details. Yuki_Wrapping_Paper_Pattern_Social Media

October Book Reading & Signing Events!

Announcing 2 events this upcoming week! The first is a book reading and signing by Elizabeth Lorayne at Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport, MA. It is part of a fundraiser for the Newburyport Montessori School's Parent Association! The event and reading of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly begins at 4pm. There will be a second children's book author, AJ Smith reading his book Even Monsters at 7pm! Piratess Tilly Jabberwocky book reading 10-22-15The second event is Saturday, October 24th at the Boston Book Festival. Elizabeth will be signing and selling books from 10:45 to 11:30 at the Independent Publishers of New England table on Boylston Street side in Copley Square! Please come support Piratess Tilly and all of the awesome authors at the event! And stay tuned for pictures and posts following the two events! Thank you!

Piratess Tilly Boston Book Festival

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

An Interview with Author Elizabeth Lorayne!

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! 

Piratess Tilly Elizabeth Lorayne Mothers Club Interview

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

Piratess Tilly's 7 Favorite Girl-Empowering Picture Books

Piratess Tilly Favorite Girl Empowering Picture Books Piratess Tilly’s 7 Favorite Girl-Empowering Picture Books

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.

Piratess Tilly Hand-sewn Doll!

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!!  

Piratess Tilly Hand Sewn Doll

Tilly Doll House Ocean Side

 

Tilly Doll House Stateroom

Happy Easter and Spring!

Just in time for Easter and the celebration of Spring, Piratess Tilly and Yuki visited with house rabbits! A Giant Chinchilla Rabbit and a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit.

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!

Piratess Tilly and koala Yuki Peg Dolls with bunnies

Bon Voyage Piratess Tilly & Yuki!

It's been a long, dreary and snowy winter here in New England! The hand-painted Piratess Tilly and Yuki dolls are on their way for expeditions across the U.S.A! Where do you think they are headed to first?! We wish them safe travels! Stay tuned here, on Facebook and on Twitter!

Piratess Tilly bon voyage nbpt home

Piratess Tilly Nature Journal

I am busily working on a Piratess Tilly "Nature Journal." It will be made by hand and include 14-20 activities to encourage kids to explore as naturalists. The interior flap will have an envelope that stores the activity cards. I also plan on including a letter from Piratess Tilly on the first page of the journal! The cover is made from matboard and the interior paper is made of blank index cards. Here are a few pictures of the journals progress so far. Enjoy!

 

 

 

First Page Sample of Piratess Tilly

For our new followers here, on Facebook and on Twitter; I thought I'd share the very first page of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Piratess Tilly Page 1 Sample

 

 

"The Adventures of Piratess Tilly" Cover!

We have officially gone to print! Due December 2014! Here is our beautiful cover and back cover.

And please don't forget to follow Piratess Tilly on Facebook and Twitter for more frequent updates!

Thank you for your support,

Elizabeth Lorayne

The_Adventures_Of_Piratess_Tilly_Cover

Piratess Tilly's Tips

As a mother, raising a toddling girl, I often think about building her up and preparing her in every way possible. The character of Piratess Tilly is my contribution to a world that is newly creating strong heroines for young girls. I thought I'd share some ideas for parents and caregivers as well! First up is "Tips to Raising an Adventurous Girl." I hope you find it inspiring! Thank you,

E.L.

Adventures of Piratess Tilly, children's picture book,Tips to Raising an Adventurous Girl