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Donald Crews

Biography

Donald Crews

Donald Crews (born 1938) is an American illustrator and writer of children's picture books including two Caldecott Honor Books. Common subjects of his include modern technology (especially travel vehicles), and childhood memories. His stories often include few humans.

Crews was drafted into the army in 1963, and sent to Frankfurt, Germany with his wife. Their first daughter, Nina was born in Germany, and their second was born a year later in New York. Nina is also an award-winning children's book author.

While in Germany, he worked on several pieces for his portfolio, including the book WE READ: A TO Z. After several suggestions from friends, he submitted it, and it was published by Harper & Row (now HarperCollins). The book relied on abstract ideas, rather than the clichés that were usually associated with ABC books. One classic example is the entry for the letter C: "Cc, corner: where the yellow is" is illustrated with a yellow square in the far corner of a red page in the book.

He created several other books over the next few years, but it was 1979's FREIGHT TRAIN that won him a Caldecott Honor and the respect of other artists in the field. He won another Caldecott Honor the next year for TRUCK. Several other transportation themed books followed, such as SCHOOL BUS (1984), FLYING (1986), and SAIL AWAY (1995). His memories from his summers in Florida first appeared in BIGMAMA'S and later in SHORTCUT. These stories are vastly different from his previous works, in that they focus on humans, and tell a more linear story.

Crews and his wife currently live in the state of New York in an old, restored farmhouse overlooking the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains.

Donald Crews

Books by Donald Crews

by Donald Crews - Children's, Fiction, Picture, Youth Fiction

Four African American children travel with their mother, and when the train arrives in Cottondale, Florida, the summer at Bigmama's house begins! Donald Crews brilliantly evokes the sights, sounds, and emotions of a memorable childhood experience. Beautifully and richly illustrated, this is a wonderful choice for family reading and classroom sharing. "A very special book by a superb artist and storyteller."—The Horn Book

by Donald Crews - Children's, Fiction, Picture, Travel, Youth Fiction

Red caboose at the back, orange tank car, green cattle car, purple box car, black tender and a black steam engine...freight train. The powerful words evoke the essence of inexorably rolling wheels, so that even a child not lucky enough to have counted freight cars will feel he has watched a freight train passing. A book truly for the youngest child --- and for every one of us who has been that child.

by Donald Crews - Children's, Fiction, Picture, Youth Fiction

The train tracks ran right by Bigmama's house in Cottondale, and the children were warned to stay off the tracks. But one night they were late, and the tracks were a shortcut, so they started off. And when there was no turning back, they heard the train coming.

by Donald Crews - Children's, Fiction, Picture, Youth Fiction

TRUCK is written and illustrated by the celebrated creator of FREIGHT TRAIN, BIGMAMA'S, SCHOOL BUS, and many other classic and award-winning picture books for young children. Truck was named a Caldecott Honor Book by the American Library Association and was also named an ALA Notable Book for Children. It is an ideal book to share with preschoolers, both at home and in the classroom --- especially those who love books about transportation!

by Donald Crews - Children's, Fiction, Picture, Youth Fiction

All the color and action of liners, tankers, tugs, barges, ferryboats, and fireboats in a harbor are presented in this exciting visual adventure. "HARBOR is a picture book, and a great one at that. Every library will want it." --- School Library Journal

by Donald Crews - Children's, Fiction, Picture, Youth Fiction

"Showing the same dynamic energy and brilliant colors as in FREIGHT TRAIN and TRUCK, the author-artist conveys the breathless anticipation and delighted enjoyment generated by a parade."--Horn Book.