Author/illustrator Donald Crews was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1938. Interested in art from an early age, he attended attended Cooper Union School for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City.
Crews began building his art portfolio while serving in the American military in Germany. He designed his first children’s book, We Read: A to Z, at that time. It was published in 1967. A year later, he published Ten Black Dots.
Crews earned a 1979 Caldecott Honor medal for his innovative book, Freight Train, which is remains a favorite with new readers today. He received another Caldecott Honor medal 2 years later for Truck, which follows the highway journey of a brightly colored semi truck.
In and interview for an 1998 article in African American Review Crews said:
All of my books are about real events, and they're only segments of those real events, a small portion of them and trying to tell a brief story about that part. Just the involvement with the book is what I want people to experience, and taking a look at the way I tell a story and hopefully finding pleasure in it.
Crews currently lives with his wife (author/illustrator Ann Jonas) in New York.