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!

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

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

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

In the Newspaper!

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! ;)

The Eagle-Tribune 4.8.15 Piratess Tilly

First book reading event!

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!

The company behind the book drive is American Training, Inc. They have essentially taken the School for Exceptional Studies in Lawrence, MA under their wing,  painting classrooms and now orchestrating a very successful book drive. In a month they collected 1,600 books to create a library for the school! 
 
I had donated a copy of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and the next thing I knew, I was being asked to read the book at the presentation party! And American Training Inc bought a copy for each child!
 
I was more honored about being a part of this cause than I was nervous. Seeing how excited the students were when they saw the bookcase full of books and then when they realized the books were for their school! It was all very special.
 
The children were very enthusiastic while I read The Adventures of Piratess Tilly. It felt appropriate to interact with the kids while I read, so I asked questions and pointed out details. It was especially meaningful when all 6 kids eagerly yelled answers when asked what was in the sack Piratess Tilly held while sliding down the anchor line! 
Piratess Tilly book reading 4.1a
 
When I handed the books out to each child, they were so grateful and excited! I was then asked to sign the books so of course I obliged. ;)
Piratess Tilly book reading 4.1b
The eldest student, a 4th grade boy, waited next to me and asked if he could pass them back out. He later made me a bookmark during their craft activities. I'll cherish that forever.
Piratess Tilly book reading 4.1d
 
The organizer of the event had set up an activity table with craft supplies to create bookmarks. I couldn't resist making my koala Yuki crayons and bringing the Yuki coloring pages along. And I'm so glad I did because the kids loved them after hearing the story. 
Piratess Tilly book reading 4.1e
 
All of this followed by literary inspired treats and snacks! 
 
I couldn't have asked for a better book reading experience. I feel so honored to be a part of building a school's library! 
 
Piratess Tilly book reading 4.1c

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

Featured in Reports of the National Center for Science Education!

I am incredibly honored and proud to announce that not only has The Adventures of Piratess Tilly been mentioned in the article, “An Interdisciplinary Approach to Evolution Education” by Mark Terry (Co-founder, NWS; Head of School 1983-1990; Science Chair, 10th grade Biology and 12th grade Primate Biology at The Northwest School in Seattle, WA); but one of the illustrations and haiku is being used as the cover to the current edition of the National Center for Science Education’s online and printed journal, Reports of the National Center for Science Education.

*** The NCSE is a non-profit organization that defends the teaching of evolution and climate change. ***

Thank you NCSE for this amazing recognition and thank you The Northwest School for my incredible education!

To view and read the journal, please visit here!

To purchase your own hardcover copy of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly, please visit our Shop! Thank you!

Piratess Tilly NCSE Vol 35, No 2 (2015) 2015-03-14 08-33-01

Interview and book reading!

Elizabeth Lorayne's first interview and live book reading is available to listen to on Blogtalk Radio.

Click here to listen now!

Thank you for the support! And don't forget to follow Piratess Tilly on Facebook and Twitter.

Some very big news is on its way ~ Stay tuned!

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

 

 

Tilly + Yuki Character Peg Dolls

I've created hand-painted Tilly + Yuki peg dolls! They are definitely a hit with my 2.5 year old. I personally love this koala variation with pom-poms for ears!! And of course I'm partial to a girl peg doll that isn't made from the skirted wood version! The eye patch is pretty cool too. ;)

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Some favorite pages

I wanted to share some of my favorite pages from Tilly's expedition to the Galápagos Islands! Karen Watson's watercolor illustration of these whales is mesmerizing and stunning. And please don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!

Piratess Tilly whale pages

 

"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