Local author’s ‘Salty’ kids book is good gift for a great cause

Luciano Marano
lmarano@ptleader.com
Posted 11/23/20

It’s a lot to fit into one book.

Consider: An enchanting story plus technical glossaries, guitar and piano sheet music and lyrics, logbook pages awaiting entries, illustrations both …

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Local author’s ‘Salty’ kids book is good gift for a great cause

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It’s a lot to fit into one book.

Consider: An enchanting story plus technical glossaries, guitar and piano sheet music and lyrics, logbook pages awaiting entries, illustrations both black-and-white and color, pictures waiting to be colored and colored pencils with which to do it, a sharpener, and an enhanced disc with songs and graphics.

“Salty & the Pirates” is more than meets the eye. 

The latest work by local artist Marie Delaney is educational, instructive, inspirational, and entertaining, all in one artisanal macrame package, a great gift idea for the precocious sailor/musician/artist-to-be in your life. 

And it’s a good investment in other ways, too. 

The book costs $65, with proceeds going to benefit Olympic Neighbors, a local nonprofit serving people with developmental disabilities and their families by providing safe, affordable housing, and staff support as well as community inclusion services. 

Thus, for reasons obvious and otherwise, Emiliano Marino and Pami-Sue Alvarado, owners of Port Townsend nautical supply shop The Artful Sailor, which features the book for sale in a prominent display, give it hearty endorsements.

“We’re very proud to be able to offer it,” Alvarado said. 

“I instantly realized what a fantastic accomplishment this book is and what it has to offer,” Marino agreed.

“The scope of this book is difficult to describe because it’s a storybook, it’s a coloring book, it’s a music book, it’s a nautical education book, a music education book — it has all these opportunities for a child to explore independently or with an adult. And it doesn’t have to be somebody who is particularly interested in sailing because it’s just a wonderful, fun story and it has environmental components and fantasy, mermaids and sea creatures, whales, all kinds of things.”

That it’s also meant to benefit a cause in which they believe only made the book that much more appropriate for their shop, Marino and Alvarado added.

“We’re supportive of the organization, what Olympic Neighbors does,” Marino said. “In fact, we’ve donated items to their auctions in the past with great success, and so this was an opportunity to continue to be supportive of them and to have this wonderful book as part of our inventory. It just fits right in.”

The book’s creator said “Salty & the Pirates” was born from personal experiences but designed for universal appeal. Though perhaps “designed” isn’t the most apt description of the process.

“The thing just organically came into life and I just put it out there,” Delaney said. 

“I have a tendency to make a mountain out of a mole hill. It started as a song that I played on guitar and it turned into a book with a CD and it just kept getting bigger.” 

What began as a song became a book, with illustrations she did herself, and then eventually grew in scope. 

Once she’d decided to include a CD, Delaney said, it seemed silly to only include the original song that inspired the story, so she wrote and recorded more, using friends and her own father as featured performers. 

Also on the disc are black-and-white versions of the book’s illustrations, so kids can print out fresh copies and color them again if they want. 

Friends in the marine business expressed interest in selling the book, so Delaney had a bunch of copies printed. And although it proved popular she found herself with a surplus stash, which she recently donated to Olympic Neighbors.

“I’ve noticed that most kids that pick it up and start looking at it really like it,” she said. “They like something about it.”

In addition to book proceeds, Olympic Neighbors benefits from the book in another way, too. Several clients undertook the task of completing the book’s assembly: attaching the colored pencils, sharpener and CD.

“They’re not just passing this off to us and saying, ‘Here, go sell this,’” Marino said. “

Learn more about “Salty & the Pirates” via The Artful Sailor’s online catalogue (www.theartfulsailor.com), where you can also order a copy, or visit the shop (410 Washington St., in Port Townsend). 

More information about Olympic Neighbors and additional ways to donate/support the group can be found at www.olympicneighbors.org.

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