I have done pictures since I can remember. I took all the art classes in junior high and high school I could and naturally became an art major in college. I graduated with a BFA in art and writing and marry the two by writing and illustrating children's books.
In his debut, Drive (2008), Clement profiled a single 18-wheeler and its driver; here he explores the ever-popular realm of construction trucks. Unlike many similarly themed books, which focus on humans, this one details the part each truck plays in a single job, with the final spread showing a completed park. Throughout, the pointed finger and other hand signs of the African-American “Boss” direct the trucks to their respective duties. “Boss says, ‘Pour a slab.’ / And the mixer swings its trough and pours cement.” About half the time children are given the opportunity to guess which truck will be needed for the job before a page turn reveals the answer. The highlighted trucks include a bulldozer, excavator, loader, dump truck, compactor, mixer and crane. While the text does not rhyme, it has a welcome simplicity that suits younger readers just as well, even as it uses real vocabulary for the trucks and their parts. The computer-rendered illustrations, while sometimes seeming flat in perspective, nonetheless have crisp, clean lines with bold, rich colors and textures appropriate to earth, gravel and cement. The large format of the book itself, as well as alternating views of long shots and close-ups of trucks makes this a good choice for group sharing. Pair this with Sally Sutton’s Roadwork (2008) for a similar treatment of a different job site. (Picture book. 2-6)