Pamela Jane is the author of two new children's picture books, Trucks Zooming By and C Jumped Over Three Pots and a Pan. Her many other books include Little Goblins Ten, and her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal and Writer's Digest.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Trucks Zooming By, and why do you think so many kids are fascinated by trucks?
A: I love to rhyme and the idea of motion and color - all kinds of trucks zooming by, each designed for a different purpose - intrigued me.
I think kids are fascinated by trucks partly because you're up high; it’s exciting to see the world from that vantage point, and also because trucks are able to perform all kinds amazing functions, from shoveling snow to grilling hotdogs.
The line “Someday when I'm older/If I have any luck/I’ll make enough money/To buy my own truck” could have been written about my daughter who is in grad school and longing to buy a pickup!
Q: Your book C Jumped Over Three Pots and a Pan takes a new approach to alphabet books--what inspired this story?
A: I’ve always seen language and letters as living characters with their own stories to tell. In this book I was inspired to show the extraordinary power of the written word, and the way four letters are able to rescue the C from the garbage can before he’s hauled off to the dump!
Q: What do you think the illustrations (by Barry Gott and Hina Imtiaz) add to the books?
A: Hina Imtiaz’s illustrations for C Jumped bring both humanity and humor with her colorful depiction of the alphabet Her letters are just plain fun, which is what we want reading and language to be.
Barry Gott’s illustrations for Trucks Zooming By have a kind of graphic-novel appeal. They are sweet and engaging. At the same time they are very modern and add so much zing to the story.
Q: What do you hope kids take away from these two new books?
A: In reading or talking to kids about books I want to convey how much fun reading and writing are.
The story itself is also important; C Jumped is not a typical alphabet book with a word for each letter, but a suspenseful and fun-filled plot. I want kids to be drawn into books and stories because they are irresistibly fascinating, funny, or inspiring.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on several chapter books series, as well as nonfiction writing for adults (essays and memoir).
--Interview with Deborah Kalb