To capture the whimsical spirit of a forthcoming picture book into a publicity campaign, Islandport Press in Yarmouth, Maine, is teaming up with a nearby chain of family eateries – Weathervane Seafood Restaurants, headquartered in Kittery – to promote Brian Benoit’s Crustacean Vacation (June), illustrated by Marty Kelley.
Benoit’s book uses rhyming verses to describe a crab family’s outing: they go ashore and play games in a boardwalk arcade and slide in a water park, where the workers are also sea creatures. A seagull runs the candy store, a shark manages the tattoo parlor, and the lifeguard is an octopus.
During the month of June, author and illustrator will split visits to all 13 Weathervane restaurants in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. They will read from the book, which will be available for sale, either through Weathervane or a local bookseller. Diners will receive free activity sheets, and each restaurant will raffle a signed copy of the book.
“We are delighted to be working with [Weathervane],” says Islandport publisher Dean L. Lunt. “As the book industry continues to change, we think it is critical to find new and fun ways to reach readers and promote literacy.”
Meg Cloud, marketing director of Weathervane, says, “We support education and literacy in many ways. Partnering with Islandport to bring this exciting new book into our restaurants is a perfect opportunity to show children how much fun reading can be.”
In addition to the restaurant promotion, Islandport is planning a series of events to raise money for the Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The first “Crab Walk to a Cure” will take place at the book release party on June 2 at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover.