I am not one of those writers who had the writing bug as a young child. It was a condition I caught sometime in my 30s but it would go into remission from time to time. I have, however, always loved books. Growing up, we had a “playhouse,” aka storeroom, in the backyard. During the summer my friends and I would create a lending library from our book collections and check out books to the neighborhood kids. As an English major in college, I naturally wrote a lot of essays, etc. After college, I wrote a poem like the one I assigned my Freshman Composition class the one semester I taught at a Junior College. It honors my father and was read at his funeral so is special to me. I didn’t really decide to take my writing seriously until my 60s. I am a late bloomer.
After staying busy with church work and volunteering, I dusted off the 10-year-old original draft of my story about a truck and a boy. I got serious about writing for children, joined SCBWI-OK, went to conferences and workshops, and learned, learned, learned. That truck-and-a-boy story became A Truck Named Tony, my debut picture book. Tony's next adventure is expected to be available the winter of 2022. I have several picture book manuscripts as well as an early reader and non fiction picture book in various stages of revision - the really, really hard part of writing.
Midwest Book Review
Colorfully illustrated by David Barrow, "A Truck Named Tony" is an original and utterly charming picture book story by M. Jane Hawkins that will prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers.
Shirley Richardson, teacher and librarian
Children will identify with Tony in his Christmas book and how he overcomes a problem with the help of his friends and neighbors. Primary school-aged children will be entertained by the colorful vocabulary and by imagining Tony as he drives around his neighborhood doing good deeds for those he meets during a snowy day.
Dale Julian, indie bookstore owner
I like Hawkins' rollicking read-aloud language and her gentle messages of kindness and teamwork in both books.
Who Drew Tony ?
David Barrow has been drawing for as long as he can remember. Mostly self-taught he specializes in three-dimensional cartoon characters who always have more going on beyond the written words. David has illustrated more than ten books for Doodle and Peck Publishing. He has illustrated over 10 children's picture books and chapter books. A Truck Named Tony was his first. See Tony's new friends that David created in the Christmas adventure.
Find out more about him at https://www.instagram.com/drawingdavidbarrow/.
"Be silly. Be honest. Be kind."