Piratess Tilly, the brave and inquisitive heroine of a series of children's books composed solely in haiku, is the creation of Shore parent and author Elizabeth Lorayne. Budding authors in Shore's Pre-Kindergarten program recently got to meet Tilly during a special visit from her creator, who also happens to be the mom of one of those Pre-K scribes, Vivi. The author answered questions and read from the newest installment of the Piratess Tilly series
, The Adventures of Piratess Tilly: Easter Island
, which is due to be released in February.
As Lorayne explained to an attentive Pre-K audience, a Piratess is "compassionate, courageous, mindful, and adventurous—a leader. She respects nature, and feels an urgency to study and protect all flora and fauna." In the first book in the series, The Adventures of Piratess Tilly
, readers discovered a world where budding naturalist Tilly and her rescued best friend, a koala named Yuki, set off for an adventure on the Galapagos Islands, where they save baby giant tortoises that have been kidnapped.
Of Tilly's award-winning debut story, Publisher's Weekly
wrote, "Lorayne crafts an environmentally focused adventure told through haikus and punctuated by moments of excitement. ... Tilly—tough, daring, and scientifically minded—is a capable heroine with an enviable life at sea."
In the forthcoming second installment of the series, Tilly and crew explore Easter Island's mysterious statues and ruins. While there, they come upon pirates smuggling tern eggs, and must again come to the rescue. Praising this second adventure, illustrated like the first by artist Karen Watson, Kirkus Review
called Tilly a "refreshingly bold, smart heroine," and described the book as "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."
explained, "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...."
The granddaughter of Admiral Walter T. Griffith, who commanded the submarine U.S.S. Bowfin during World War II, Lorayne spent her own childhood sailing and exploring the shorelines of the Pacific Northwest, where she developed a deep respect, curiosity, and love for water, exploration, and creativity. "Now," she says, "I feel the desire to remind all of us of our forever shared companion – Mother Nature; and with that reminder, to press upon us to cherish and protect her."
Creating the Piratess Tilly series, says Lorayne, "has allowed me to reconnect with my creativity. I've been especially inspired by writing the books in the form of haiku: with the 17-syllable rule, it's a challenge to choose the words to best represent the vision of the story."
The Piratess Tilly books are the first releases from the White Wave Press
, an independent publishing company which Lorayne founded. Based in Newburyport, White Wave seeks to offer works which are "eco-conscious, science-minded, and girl empowering," Lorayne explains.