Meet The Author: Sarah Hastings


Industry Books LLC, owners and operators of the Book Shop of Beverly Farms and a micro publisher, announce today the upcoming release of “Shoebert the Traveling Seal,” a children’s book by author and illustrator Sarah Hastings.  The book is available for pre-order now and will be available for on-site purchase at the Book Shop starting with Small Business Saturday, November 26, where Hastings will be signing copies from 11 a.m. to noon.

Designed for toddlers and first-time readers, the book offers a charming and colorful recounting of the exploits of Shoebert, a real-life gray seal who has visited Shoe Pond in Beverly, Massachusetts, and become a locally beloved celebrity.  In rhyming verse that parents will love reading over and over, children meet Shoebert and the marine rescue workers who help him find home again.

“It’s so fun to be working with such a feel-good story, right in our backyard,” said Hannah Harlow, CEO of Industry Books.  “Like everyone else in town, I followed Shoebert’s story closely and Sarah captures it beautifully.  We’re so happy that she brought this to us.”

Hastings, a life-long resident of the North Shore, who studied early childhood education at Salem State, had been looking for just the right story to follow her passion into children’s books and she was captivated by Shoebert.

“I just fell in love with him right away,” Hastings said, “and I started thinking immediately what a great children’s book it would make.”  Before she knew it, she’d created a cover, using her unique pastiche style that incorporates physical drawings scanned into digital environments.

“But it did take me a while to get Shoebert just right!” she said.

The book, in familiar 8”x8” paperback format, is priced at $14.99, with one dollar from each sale going to support the work of the Mystic Aquarium, which has been instrumental in ensuring Shoebert’s health and safety.  Industry Books also hopes kids and adults both will be inspired to check out the great work that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association does in protecting and caring for Northshore marine wildlife.

“We were thrilled to have members of the NOAA stranding team review the book before publication,” said Harlow, “to make sure we’re honoring their work and correctly representing what happened on the ground.  Hopefully, some young readers are inspired to take up their very important mission some day!”

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