Matt Shanks was born in Sydney and now resides in Melbourne. Sandwiched between the bush and beach, the inspiration for his short stories comes from a love of his unique country. His early fascination for the combination of words and pictures saw him complete a Bachelor of Design at the University of Sydney in 2003. It took him 10 years while working as a Creative Director at some of Melbourne's best design agencies to realise that this 'watercolour hobby' of his needed to be shared with more than just his wife and cat. He has written and illustrated books for Scholastic and illustrated Jackie French's Koala Bare with Harper Collins.
A simple and inviting story which effectively portrays its message
with ease * CBCA: Reading Time Blog *
Every single page of this book is full of marvelous pencil and watercolour illustrations. There is so many details in this humorous story that children will just love it as they learn about being a leader and sharing. Learning about ecosystems and balance. It's a rhyming and perfectly written story of building walls and breaking them down * Child Blogger *
A wondrous parallel for the isolationist policies seen around
the world, readers will recognise the ideas of openness and being
welcoming to people coming to their shores, and be aware that some
countries are building physical walls, while others have more
subtle restrictions about their borders.
Readers will love looking at the range of creatures illustrated on each page, recalling their own adventures when visiting the beach
Who knew one little picture book could pack so much punch. In
this seemingly ordinary story about an ordinary girl who becomes
queen of the most beautiful rock pool, Matt Shanks manages to
convey a powerful environmental, political and social message,
without being didactic. Celine is an endearing character,
determined and self-assured, and Matt portrays her with charm and
humour. The journey from indignation to realisation of her 'royal
mistake' is completely natural, with a subtle message of
recognising and righting our wrongs.
It also teaches children about inclusivity and sharing, along with the importance of caring for the environment, making it a must for families and classrooms.