Born in Washington, DC; children: Michael, Bradley, Robert. Education: Florida State University, B.S. (education). Hobbies and other interests: Scrap booking, genealogy research.
Home and office—Clearwater, FL. E-mail—[email protected]
Author. Temple Ahavat Shalom, Palm Harbor, FL, early childhood director, 1987-96; Coordinated Child Care of Pinellas, Inc., provider consultant, 2000—. Member, Pinellas Advocates for Children and Families.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Jewish Alphabet, illustrated by Albert G. Rodriguez, Pelican Publishing (Gretna, LA), 2006.
Janet Clement's goals as a writer are to share her love of reading, promote early literacy, and through her Judaic children's books foster appreciation of her Jewish
faith. In her debut book Jewish Alphabet, which features illustrations by Clement's fiancée, Albert G. Rodriguez, she utilizes the letters of the Anglo alphabet to introduce young readers to Jewish culture. In addition to being a children's book author, Clement offers training and technical assistance through her position as a provider consultant for Pinellas County's central agency for child care to providers of child care serving children from infancy through school age.
Jewish Alphabet describes the customs and traditions of Jewish culture. For instance, Clement uses the letter "K" to describe "Kiddush, a prayer over wine" and the letter "L" to detail "latkes fried 'til crisp and yummy." The text of Jewish Alphabet uses both rhyming verse and prose to elaborate on some of the Jewish symbols and concepts. Although a Kirkus Reviews critic described the book as a "hodgepodge of information," a Children's Bookwatch online reviewer praised Jewish Alphabet as a work for young readers that "celebrates aspects of Jewish religion and culture."
Clement told SATA: "I especially love picture books. Picture books allow enormous opportunity for both the writer and the illustrator to create a work that will enable children to develop crucial literacy skills. Vocabulary acquisition in the early years has significant implications and connection to later school success."
Clement usually envisions her concept as an illustrated work before she even begins to sit down to write. "Usually the writing and the illustration of a picture book is a very separate experience," she explained. "Manuscripts are often fully edited and completed before an illustrator is ever assigned to a project. A good illustrator must be more than just a good artist: he or she must be able to grasp the vision of the writer." Discussing her collaboration with Rodriguez, Clement noted: "Not having the capability to illustrate my own stories, I am so fortunate to be able to work collaboratively with Al during the entire writing process as my manuscripts take shape. His artistic talent and the ability to illustrate are true gifts." The couple continue working on children's-book projects, both Judaic and secular.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Clement, Janet, Jewish Alphabet, Pelican Publishing (Gretna, LA), 2006.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2006, review of Jewish Alphabet, p. 949.
School Library Journal, December, 2006, Heidi Estrin, review of Jewish Alphabet, p. 120.
Children's Book Watch Online,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (February, 2007), review of Jewish Alphabet.
Janet Clement Home Page,http://www.janet-and-al.com (August 9, 2007).
Pelican Publishing Web site,http://www.pelicanpub.com/ (August 9, 2007), "Janet Clement and Albert G. Rodriguez."