Peterborough mum illustrates book to raise autism awareness from a young age
A Peterborough mum has illustrated a children’s book which aims to raise autism awareness among primary school children.
Hayley Evans, 37 from Hampton Vale, Peterobrough, has illustrated the self-published book, written by her sister Leo Johnson from Barry, South Wales.
It has been launched this April during Autism Awareness Month
‘My Big Brother’ is a rhyming picture book, told from the perspective of a young girl who learns what makes her autistic brother amazing.
It sets familiar scenes within a family environment that children with autistic siblings would experience. From apparent irrational behaviours to fixations on particular interests, the girl goes onto learn why her brother displays these
Hayley has a vested interest in this subject matter and explained why she felt it was important to release the book this month.
“My nephew is autistic and it took a long time for my niece to understand why her brother was so ‘mean’ to her,” she said. “Through my nephew I have learned that autism is something to be celebrated and embraced. So, when better to release a book like this than during a national awareness month?”
Hayley is a mother of two and runs the tattoo studio, Ink Imaginarium, in Peterborough and has commissioned many private artworks over recent years. More of Hayley’s work can be found at www.facebook.com/HayleyEvansArtist.
April is autism awareness month with many local and national charities campaigning to raise awareness of neurodiversity. One charity in particular, AP Cymru – based in Tongwynlais, South Wales – will benefit from £1 from each copy sold.
Hayley explains: “AP Cymru provided help and support to my sister’s family throughout and beyond the diagnosis process, as they do for so many other families. Leo has done a lot of fundraising for them in the past, and I wanted to do my bit to support my sister, her family and the charity that has made such a positive difference to their lives.”
She added: “I have illustrated the book in a playful way, but diversity and inclusion are very important to me, so I have tried to make sure that the illustrations reflect this too. I’m a tattoo artist by trade, but when my sister told me she had written a children’s book and asked me to illustrate it I was over the moon.
“This is the perfect way to support my family, and the autistic community as a whole.”
Her sister Leo is also a mother of two and a qualified special educational needs teaching assistant, currently working as a day care nursery assistant. This is the first book that she has published.
‘My Big Brother’ will be published through Amazon Direct Publishing and available to purchase for £8.99, worldwide, later this month.