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- author Jackie French

Thursday 3 March 2022

Guest Post: Q & A with Anne and Louise Jordan - Sunny The Sideloader

Who would have thought that a picture book about garbage collection could be so bright and winsome but that's exactly what mother-daughter author-illustrator team: Anne and Louise Jordan have created. Discover more in this revealing Q & A with them.

Why write a book about garbage and recycling trucks?

We both love trucks, and garbage and recycling trucks are especially cool. It never gets old watching trucks pick up bins with their grabbers and empty them into their hoppers. Plus, kids love garbage trucks and there aren’t too many books about them out there.

How is this book different from other truck books on the market?

The main difference is the focus on the environment. Not only is the story eco-friendly; so is the book itself. Unlike most children’s books that are printed overseas and coated in plastic, Sunny the Sideloader is printed in North America with vegetable inks on 100% PCW recycled text without plastic laminates.

Also, most truck books are marketed only to boys. We wanted Sunny the Sideloader to be for everyone. That’s why we used a rainbow of colors and included all kinds of fun elements that you don’t usually see in truck books— things like dogs, flowers, gardens, dancers, and butterflies.

What message would you like readers to take away from this book?

We hope Sunny will encourage people to think about their own waste. Our ultimate dream would be for readers to become inspired to take a new environmental action. Like what if a family read our book and decided to try composting? That would be amazing!

 We also hope kids will get the idea that everyone makes mistakes and that’s ok.

Sunny the Sideloader has a very unique illustration style. Can you tell us about your process and why you chose this medium?

We built the city of Workerville on a 1:18 scale using a combination of repurposed, bought, and found materials (such as cardboard, clay, sticks, and rocks.) For example, we made watermelons out of pecans and traffic cones out of icing tips. And we used cardboard. Lots and lots of cardboard. When we were done, we photographed our scenes. And finally, we used an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to add skies, grass and speech bubbles. We chose this medium because it was a lot more fun than drawing trucks! And the great thing is we can reuse the set.

Does that mean we can expect more Clean Machines books in the future?

Yes, definitely! We’re working on the second one right now. 

Anne and Louise Jordan are a mother-daughter team who write and illustrate together. Sunny the Sideloader is their debut picture book. Anne studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lorenzo de Medici in Italy and the Art Students League in New York City. Anne has worked as a portrait painter and greeting card designer. Louise owned and operated a decorative wall painting business and mixed her own paints. Later she worked as a color consultant. 

Visit them at their Sunny The Sideloader site or on Instagram