Matthew Porter is a children’s book illustrator and writer living and working in Seattle. He has published five books including the much loved (in our household) Count the Birdies. He is currently working on his next book which will feature an engine driving monkey! When not in his studio painting Matthew enjoys going on trips to the zoo with his wife Andrea and their newborn son. There is inspiration in every trip!
Presenting Matthew’s top ten favourite children’s books …
Meg on the Moon – Helen Nicoll, Illustrated by Jan Pienkowski
This is the only book I can remember picking out of the book catalogue at primary school. I recently found it at my parents’ house and it still brings a smile to my face.
The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling, Illustrated by Maurice and Edward Detmold
Kipling’s home is close to where I grew up and in one of the rooms hang some prints by the Detmold brothers. It was seeing these prints that really got me interested in illustration.
The Animal Fair — Alice and Martin Provensen
I found this book at a thrift store soon after I moved to Seattle and fell in love with it immediately. It’s full of stories and poems and lively illustrations.
The Color Kittens – Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen
This time a single story written by Margaret Wise Brown who also wrote Goodnight Moon.
Cautionary Tales for Children — Hilaire Belloc
Mischievous poems for mischievous minds.
I Can Fly – Ruth Krauss, Illustrated by Mary Blair
Bright and playful illustrations that look fresh and modern even though they were produced over 60 years ago.
Up and Down New York – Jonathan Adler, Illustrated by Tony Sarg
Imagine that you are a bird flying around New York in the 1920s. I don’t know how he managed to capture the city so well from above. He must have had a very tall ladder.
Charley Harper’s ABC’s – Charley Harper
I first became aware of Charley Harper when we were both in a top ten list in a magazine. I have since checked out his work and it’s really lovely. Elegant and graceful. Modern and ancient.
A Children’s Treasury of Milligan – Spike Milligan
Stories and poems by Spike Milligan. I love listening to old radio shows when I’m painting and the Goon Show has long been a favorite. This book is stuffed full of silly words and pictures.
I Am a Bunny – Ole Risom, Illustrated by Richard Scarry
The pictures in this book are beautiful and make you feel like everything in life is lovely even though it’s raining on the front cover. Reading this book will make you want to curl up for a snooze.