Friday, December 18, 2015

Just heard the exciting news that TWO IS ENOUGH will appear Dec. 20th in The New York Times Book Review! The online version posted today:

"Families of two star in this smoothly rhyming trip through the seasons. The title serves also as a refrain, as we see four pairs enjoying each other’s exclusive company: a dad and daughter; dad and son; mom and daughter; and grandma and grandchild....Each sweetly illustrated page is just a glimpse of everyday life, but for children in two-person families surrounded by bigger clans, also a reminder of the immense love in their own homes, too."

Monday, December 7, 2015

TWO IS ENOUGH launched!

TWO IS ENOUGH is at last out in the world, walking around on its own TWO feet.  What a pleasure it was to share launch day (Nov. 15th) with the staff of Kids Ink, my neighborhood independent children's bookstore in Indianapolis, as well as picture book author Rebecca Kai Dotlich. 

My inspirations for TWO IS ENOUGH, Christine and her son Carter, were very hands-on in the celebration (Have you ever taken a 3-year-old to a bookstore or library? :).  What an honor to see their personal story lead to a book that celebrates the love of families and special pairs like them.

I also had the pleasure of signing books this past Saturday at the Indiana Historical Society's annual Holiday Author Fair, alongside more than 70 authors and 80 Christmas trees.  A festive occasion indeed!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Save the Date!!

TWO IS ENOUGH launch party: Sat., Nov. 14th, 11am-1pm, Kids Ink bookstore in Indy. More later!

Also, here's an excerpt from a wonderful new review from Publisher's Weekly:
"Sure as one plus one will always be two,/ Two is enough when it's me plus you!" writes Matthies (The Goodbye Cancer Garden) in this tribute to single parents and their singleton offspring. The book follows four parent-child dyads, diverse in ethnicity and age, through the seasons...."Two is enough for a thistledown wish,/ For passing the ball and playing Go Fish!" shows a close-up of a mother-daughter pair blowing on dandelions on a windy day, while a father and son enjoy a game of cards on a checkered picnic blanket. Matthies never explicitly compares these families to others, nor does she talk about the choices or circumstances that created the pairings. She keeps her message simple and clear: Head counts don't matter. All you need is love. Ages 3-up."

Friday, August 21, 2015

THE GIVING TREE, Uganda style

Three weeks ago today my family returned from what will go on record as our summer-of-a-lifetime. Thanks to a sabbatical grant awarded to my husband by Eli Lilly, we traveled for one week each to Paris and Athens/Santorini, then settled in for 2-1/2 weeks in the bush of Uganda. The location was Restoration Gateway, an orphanage and medical center where friends of ours serve as doctors and nurse. The visit there was transformational as we lived and ate among the kids and house mamas and participated in various ways at the school. My boys played endless games of football (soccer); my husband took a few young men and boys under his wing and listened to their dreams; and my daughter did impromptu art sessions. As for me, I spent lots of time on the grass and under trees playing guitar and singing with the kids and doing story times. My personal highlight? Beginning to read THE GIVING TREE to them, only to end with their bright, wise voices reading it to me.  Wow.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

TWO IS ENOUGH on the way!

Just out...the first review of my new picture book, TWO IS ENOUGH (illustrated by Tuesday Mourning, published by Running Press Kids).  TWO IS ENOUGH is a celebration of the special bond in a family of two--one special child and their special adult.  The book was inspired by my dear friend Christine and her little son Carter, whom she adopted at birth more than two years ago now.  I'll share more about their beautiful story as release day approaches.  For now, here's a bit of what Kirkus had to say:

"Two is all you need for a family. Be it a mother and child, a father and child, or a grandparent and grandchild, two is plenty when you are surrounded by love. Modern families come in all shapes and combinations, and here Matthies happily celebrates the two-person family. Bouncing rhymes, always starting with the gentle platitude "two is enough," follow various ethnically diverse familial pairs as the seasons change....Readers in this living situation (both adult and child) will find comfort in the reminder that two is enough for support and love. (Picture book. 3-6)"

Indeed, I can't wait for Christine and Carter and other 2-person families to happily cuddle up with this book. Stay tuned for the release in early November!

Monday, January 26, 2015

What's Happening at School?

One of my favorite author-ish things to do each year is my annual visit to 3rd graders at The Oaks Academy in Indianapolis.  In fact, the Oaks now has two campuses, and I visit both to converse on the topic of fables and to inspire and be inspired in our writers' journeys.  They tell me about the fables they've just written, fresh off plenty of reading of the biggies by Aesop.  I read an original fable to them as well as a book or two.  We sing.  We laugh.  Always a great day of connecting with young readers and writers!