Tina Matthews is a writer and illustrator. She has also worked as a puppet maker, musician, teacher, and a designer. Out of the Egg (2007) was Matthews’ first book, and it has been published in both Australia and the USA. Out of the Egg was nominated in the Picture Book section of the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and won the award for Best First Book. Her fourth picture book, So Many Wonderfuls, was published in 2014.
Place of residence: Bondi, Australia
Matthews, Tina (1961 – ) is a writer and illustrator. She has worked as a puppet maker, musician, teacher and a designer. Born in Wellington, she is currently a puppetry teacher at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) in Sydney and a self-employed artist and designer.
Out of the Egg (Walker Books, 2007) is Matthews’ first book, and has been published in both Australia and the USA. A reviewer writes, ‘New Zealand-born Tina Matthews has created a thought-provoking story of independence, defiance and forgiveness. She employs a dramatic and stark colour palette, favouring black and white, with moments of green and red, and the Japanese-style woodcut technique is used to great effect throughout the book.’ (Sydney’s Child, March 2008)
Out of the Egg was nominated for Best Picture Book at the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, where it won the award for Best First Book.
Tina Matthews' second picture book, Waiting for Later, was published by Walker Books Australia in 2011. It was shortlisted for the QLD premier's literary awards. It was also a finalist in the Best Picture Book category of the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and was shortlisted for LIANZA's Russell Clark Illustration Award.
Tina Matthews' third picture book, A Great Cake, was published by Walker Books Australia in 2012. A Great Cake was a finalist in the 2013 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards in the Picture Book category, and won Matthews the Russell Clark Medal for Illustration at the 2013 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards.
Her picture book So Many Wonderfuls was published by Walker Books Australia in 2014, the same year that Matthews was a Writer-in-Residence at the University of New England.
Tina Matthews lives in Sydney.
Last updated April 2016.
writers in schools information
KAPAI: Kids' Authors Pictures and Information
Where do you live?
Bondi, in Sydney, Australia and in New Zealand in the summer.
What books do you read?
Whatever ends up next to my bed. Fiction and non-fiction, children’s and adults’ books.
Who is your favourite writer and why?
Wanda Gag, Virginia Lee Burton, Dr. Seuss, Herge and Robert McCloskey are some of my favourite children’s writers/illustrators, perhaps because they make the words and the pictures. And I love Jane Austen’s books.
How do you think up your ideas?
Very slowly ... and then round and round in circles.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
You can work anywhere or everywhere or not at all.
Primary School students
What sort of pets do you have?
A zebra finch who flew into our house one day. It wouldn’t survive outside so we bought a cage for it and it wakes us every morning. When I was small we had so many cats and dogs and kittens and puppies you could hardly see the floor.
What is your favourite colour?
I like different colours on different days. Some days pink and green, other days blue and brown.
What is your favourite food- why?
Pesto because it’s so green and peaches because they’re so summery.
What is your favourite movie?
What is your favourite game?
‘Creepers and bangers’, and ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’
How do you make books?
All by hand. I printed all the pictures for Out of the Egg from woodblocks that I had carved.
Where do you go for your holidays?
Tolaga Bay on the east coast of the North Island.
What was the naughtiest thing you ever did at school?
I don't really believe in 'naughty' but I used to argue with teachers when they were being mean to my friends.