New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Matt Tavares was born in Boston, and grew up surrounded by books and reading. From the time he was very young, his mother read to him every night, and his family made countless trips to the public library. Years later, as a studio art major at Bates College, he rediscovered his love for picture books, and decided to try to make his own.
For his senior project, Matt wrote and illustrated a story called Sebastian’s Ball, about a boy who caught a magic foul ball at a Boston Red Sox baseball game. Three years later, after much revision, Sebastian’s Ball became Zachary’s Ball, Matt’s first published picture book. Zachary’s Ball went on to win a Massachusetts Book Award Honor, and was named one of Yankee Magazine’s 40 Classic New England Children’s Books.
Since then, Matt has created over twenty more books. Three were named ALA Notable books, three won Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, and twelve were chosen for the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art exhibit. His artwork has been exhibited at the Brandywine River Museum, the Eric Carle Museum, and the Mazza Museum.
When Matt’s not working in his studio on his latest book project, he travels the country speaking and drawing at schools, libraries, conferences, and bookstores. He has presented at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the White House Easter Egg Roll, and he’s even done a few book signings at Fenway Park.
Matt lives in Maine with his wife, Sarah, and their two daughters.