Waterville native and author to visit West and East Elementary Schools in Waukon April 16-17

Mary Evanson Bleckwehl ...
Mary Evanson Bleckwehl ...

Waterville native and Minnesota author Mary Evanson Bleckwehl will be visiting East and West Elementary Schools in Waukon to begin next week, Monday and Tuesday, April 16-17, to read her new book “Claire’s Hair” and discuss the importance of reading. She will also talk about how a book is made and the process of becoming an author.

The phrase "laughter is the best medicine" is played out in a new picture book by the daughter of the late Melbourne and Helen Evanson of Waterville. Following the success of her first two award-winning children’s books, “Henry! You’re Late Again!” and “Henry, You’re Hungry Again?”, she has now written "Claire’s Hair," recently released by Beaver’s Pond Press.

In the new book, Claire loves her tangled tresses where little critters romp and live, and wants nothing to do with her mother’s insistence to comb, wash or cut it. In fact, her hair is a source of giggling delight for Claire and her best friend until he gets sick and the laughter goes missing. Claire looks beyond herself and together with her “big hairy idea” finds a way to bring the laughter back.

Bleckwehl describes her third book as a tale of hair, heart and humor. “Two friends using their innocent childlike imagination to do crazy things with Claire’s hair is the fun part of this story. But the heart of it is the empathy shown when a friend needs it most. There are many relatable layers to this story for readers, ones I didn’t even consider when writing it.”

Minneapolis artist Sara Weingartner, illustrator of several children’s books, was tapped for this unique children’s story. “Sara had some personal connections to this story line that inspired her to bring her A-game to this project,” added Bleckwehl. “It is not easy to tackle a sensitive subject like this in a picture book but Sara managed to balance the light-heartedness with the serious and turn out a perfect 10 on the visuals.”

Bleckwehl, a Waukon High School graduate, lives in Northfield, MN where she has taught school and raised three children with her husband. She stays in touch with the reading and writing delights of children by teaching, doing school author visits, and presenting at writing conferences throughout Minnesota and beyond.

Students will have a chance to purchase any of the books written by Evanson Bleckwehl and have a personal book signing. Locally, signed copies of "Claire's Hair" are also available for sale at the Waukon Greenhouse. More information is available at marybleckwehl.com.

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