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BW alumnae publish heartwarming children's picture book

Photos of Grace McConnell and Samantha HarrisBaldwin Wallace University alumnae and Pittsburgh natives Grace McConnell '15 and Samantha Harris '15 recently published their new children's book, "The Adventures of Emma and Ollie," a story about the adventures and friendship of the titular characters, a teddy bear named Emma and a stuffed penguin named Ollie.

Harris, an actor and acting coach in Los Angeles, wrote the book's heartwarming story. McConnell, a freelance photographer, illustrator and fine artist based in Cleveland, contributed the wonderful illustrations in her first time working on a project like this. Together, they were able to publish their book and sell it on Amazon.

Variety of Inspiration

The Adventures of Emma and Ollie coverHarris, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre acting and directing at BW, penned the book during the pandemic. She says, "Without being able to perform (or even really audition) for crowds of people together in one room, I used writing and collaborating with Grace on this book as a creative outlet in a time with so much uncertainty."

About her inspiration, Harris notes, "I wrote the book based on my childhood stuffed animals," but she credits her theatre and dance professors for helping her "find the innovation in little things and bring them to life in this way."

McConnell, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in studio art at BW, also expressed gratitude for her professors, calling them "incredibly encouraging, during school and after."

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