http://www.lesliehawes.com/wordpress/?p=1610 explains how she became a professional artist. And it happened in Texas - Midland of all places where they like the color green.
Leslie Hawes' first book was the 1988 issue of Two Glass Buttons: a Story of the Runaway Scrape, text by Marguerite Star Crain.
My goodness, Maggie Lambeth has a copy and she's asking $75.00 for it. Signed and in fine condition with its dustjacket. And the illustrations are really good. In a dry color medium - Leslie's favorite. http://www.texanbooks.com/si/11010.html
A good reader for girls and boys too.
See also http://www.lesliehawes.com/