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Matt Tavares

As a child

Matt was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in Winchester, a suburb just outside of Boston. When he was a kid, his family spent every summer in Ogunquit, a nice little village on the coast of Maine. He enjoyed playing all sports, but especially loved baseball. In the summer he and his friends would challenge tourists to beach baseball games. They would draw a baseball diamond in the sand with their toes, and play for hours, using a plastic bat and a tennis ball. Matt has always loved to draw. He remembers waking up early on Sunday mornings to watch Drawing with Captain Bob, a television show that taught children how to draw people, animals and all sorts of interesting sea creatures.

As an adult

Matt graduated from Bates College in 1997, then moved to Arlington, Massachusetts, where he lived for five years. He worked part-time for his father’s company, Tavares Design Associates, and spent the rest of his time drawing, writing and trying to get his book published. In 2000 his first book, Zachary’s Ball, was published. That same year, he met Sarah. Matt and Sarah loved spending time up in Ogunquit, the quaint little coastal town where Matt’s family spent their summers. In 2002 Matt and Sarah got married, and became year-round residents of Ogunquit. They enjoy going to the beach, and walking around town, especially on the Marginal Way, a mile-long path that weaves along the rocky Maine coastline.

As an artist

Matt wrote and illustrated his first picture book, when he was in college. It was called Sebastian’s Ball. He showed it to a few publishers, who didn’t like it very much. But then someone from Candlewick Press told him that they really liked it, but they thought of it as a rough draft. This meant that Matt would have to do the whole thing over. And that’s what he did. Two years later, Sebastian’s Ball, became Zachary’s Ball, his first published picture book. Zachary’s Ball went on to win an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, and a Massachusetts Book Award Honor. Since then, Matt has published two more books, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, which he illustrated, and Oliver’s Game, which he wrote and illustrated. He is working on more stories now, and looks forward to making lots of picture books.

Things you didn't know about Matt Tavares

  1. He used to play bass guitar in a rock ’n’ roll band called Teamwe.
  2. He is allergic to dogs.
  3. In the summer he plays softball every Wednesday night.
  4. He loves swimming in the ocean, but doesn’t like having his head underwater.
  5. He loves cinema popcorn.
  6. Every day he goes running (or walking) along the ocean.
  7. He always believes that this is the year the Boston Red Sox will win the World Series!
  8. He doesn’t like to wear a tie.
  9. He owns a suit, but he’s only worn it once.
  10. In high school he played soccer, baseball and ran track.

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