Joanne Evans of Cranston never saw herself as busy as she is today. A mother of four, new grandma, and soon-to-be two-time children’s author, Evans is jogging to keep up with the pace of her …
Joanne Evans of Cranston never saw herself as busy as she is today. A mother of four, new grandma, and soon-to-be two-time children’s author, Evans is jogging to keep up with the pace of her new life.
On July 19, Evans’ first book, “Hey There Little Owl…Do You Know Whoo Loves You?” was released, and Joanne’s life became very interesting. Joanne has been reading her book at daycares, has sat for interviews and attended the Rhode Island Author Expo on Dec. 3, which she says she enjoyed very much.
“I had several book orders,” Evans explained, “and I saw friends I haven’t seen in a while. I got lots of support, so it was great.”
Evans has been working in and around schools, camps and organizations like the Girl Scouts for most of her career. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education, and explained that she has had many roles in educational settings such as teacher assistant and substitute teacher. Her last role in an educational environment was kindergarten teacher assistant.
“I’ve been just constantly with kids. I love kids. So writing a children’s book was easy for me,” she said.
“Hey There Little Owl” is not only an engaging children’s book, but it is, and perhaps more importantly, an homage to her mother, who passed away from Alzheimer's disease at the height of the pandemic.
“I kind of put the two together,” Evans said.
Little Owl is about a young owlet whose mom asks her who loves her, and the owlet doesn’t know.
“So she thinks about it, and thinks about it, and then she goes around the farm and talks to all of her animal friends. And her friends know who loves her, but they don’t want to tell her. They want to make her figure it out on her own,” Evans explained.
So, the story aims to engage readers in a bit of mystery. Evans further explained that her animal friends give the owlet clues throughout the story until she finally figures out who loves her.
Evans explained how she named the mother owl Henrietta Schmidt, a silly name she used to call her mother. She felt that through this book, published locally by Pawtucket’s Stillwater River Publications, she could keep her mom’s memory alive.
In addition to early childhood centers, she also performed a reading at Hope Alzheimer's Center, the facility that cared for her mother before her passing. Evans explained it is important to her to continue to support the Alzheimer's community throughout her journey as an author.
Little Owl is also well-traveled. Evans shared that her brother, who lives in Hong Kong, has purchased and distributed several copies of the book overseas, and that a colleague of hers has also purchased several books and sent them to the Philippines. The book is available on Amazon.com and from local booksellers Barrington Books and Books on the Square.
Evans shared that she and her brother are in the process of creating plush characters of the owlet and her mom. She hopes to have those available alongside copies of the book shortly.
Evans is currently focusing on her second book, available for purchase soon after the new year. The main character of this book is Penelope the Pink Pig, a character from Little Owl. In this installment, readers can help solve a mystery that surrounds her.
Evans, though busy with work, family, and her new life as an author, is enjoying every moment she can. She is still presenting Little Owl at early childhood centers around Rhode Island, visiting and supporting memory care centers around the state, and is looking forward to her upcoming second release.
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