With a lifelong love of children’s literature, Alison Paul Klakowicz earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from East Carolina University, Greenville, NC as well as a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. She worked for over a decade as a human services professional and counselor, and has also worked as a journalist and freelance writer. She is the host and creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog which features her life as a military spouse, author, writer, and features travel insights as well as interviews with inspiring individuals.
Alison is a native of Eastern North Carolina (Beaufort County), where she was raised on the shores of the Pamlico River, and spent her childhood summers adventuring across the beaches and sounds of the Outer Banks. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her son, Mak, and husband, Adam. They enjoy spending time with their loved ones on the North Carolina coast and whenever they get the chance, they go on adventures, making priceless memories. Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck is her first book which received the Gold Award: Honoring Excellence from Mom’s Choice Awards in 2019, IAN 2020 Book of the Year Finalist and 2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards First Place Winner.
Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck was born of her son’s imagination. As a toddler, her child was OBSESSED with monster trucks. During their morning commutes to preschool, large trucks would pass them by and her son would shout from the backseat, “Mommy, I wish you drove a BIG, RED Monster Truck!” Alison always desired to publish a children’s book and from that moment was born a wonderful idea for a children’s travel and adventure picture book which would feature a mom and her son who would discover new places and make memories together in their monster truck.
Alison notes the book is also a bit of a love note to moms who are the driving force behind their children. As a military spouse, Alison has spent many days, weeks, months raising her son during her husband’s absence due to military deployments. She felt it necessary to communicate the importance of mothers (and any caregiver) spending meaningful moments through travel with their kids as priceless bonding and memories are made. In addition, it was important to her the book be inclusive and feature diverse populations and cultures to expand children’s horizons.
She has spent many days traveling new and familiar terrain across her home state sharing her book with the children of North Carolina by visiting bookstores, elementary schools, libraries and other venues. It has been a wild and joyful ride which she is extremely proud to have accomplished.
"Klakowicz packs her debut with sound effects, giving it strong read-aloud potential. ... On the page, emphasized words are variously colored and capitalized, curving around and mimicking the truck’s kineticism. ... Lively, vigorous, and well suited to kids who adore cool moms and their vehicles." - Kirkus Reviews
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"Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck provides the reader with a colorful and educational adventure. Mommy and her son take an amazing road trip across many states and countries. As they drive by you are able to see national landmarks depicted through a curvy maze, like road and vibrant characters. I found as I read along with my 5-year-old, we talked about what each landmark represented. Through our discussion, she learned about where the president lives, what Mardi Gras is about, where the Queen of England lives, and how to say “Hello there!” in Chinese. A great book to read with your little ones! Also, a great book for kids to read on their own."
"I like how they are riding in a big red truck. And they show picutres of going far away and they are heading to different places. I like the dolphins, it looks like they are teaching one another dolphin to jump in the water. The book is so colorful. I like how they are wearing the same shoes. I like the whole book!"
-Child age 5.