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Both The Adventures of Piratess Tilly books follow Tilly aboard the ship Foster, with her crew of sailors and a rescued koala named Yuki, on adventures across the globe. Tilly patches her own clothes, reads books for inspiration, and examines and sketches natural history specimens. Yuki navigates while the crew handles the ship. In the first of this series, their destination is the Galapagos Islands, but they come across pirates kidnapping baby tortoises and must intervene. In the second, they head to the remote Easter Island so Tilly can study tropical fish, but again must intervene when they find pirates smuggling the eggs of sooty terns.
The text of each story is given as descriptive and action-filled haiku from Elizabeth Lorayne, one per page, while Karen Watson’s watercolor illustrations are fun, visually appealing, and charming. Tilly admires the work of naturalists and explorers before her: Charles Darwin, Beatrix Potter, and Katherine Routledge (biographies of each are included in the books). But most importantly, the series shows the role that girls can take in creating positive change for the environment and that science is indeed for girls, too.
Enjoy these images of pages from both books (click to enlarge):
Title: The Adventures of Piratess Tilly & The Adventures of Piratess Tilly: Easter Island
Author & Illustrator: Elizabeth Lorayne & Karen Watson
Published by: White Wave Press, 2017
Pages: both 38
Suggested Age: Preschool, Elementary (Lower), Elementary (Upper)
Recognition: 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Winner – Bronze for Best Children’s Picture Book Series; 2015 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Awards – Gold for the “Heroes'” category
Publisher’s Weekly: The Adventures of Piratess Tilly
Kirkus Reviews: The Adventures of Piratess Tilly & The Adventures of Piratess Tilly: Easter Island
Facebook: Piratess Tilly’s Page for Exploration and Science
Also by Elizabeth Lorayne: The Historical Heroines Coloring Book: Pioneering Women in Science from the 18th and 19th Centuries (illustrated by Kendra Shedenhelm)
Disclosure: the author of the Piratess Tilly books is a friend of mine, and I contributed to the Charles Darwin biography at the end of each book. For her coloring book I mention above, I worked for her as a researcher and editor.