Children's Author / Storyteller / Bilingual Presenter


A Drummer / Author’s Journey

This summer, I was honored to be interviewed for the National Association for Music Education. The editor, Tom Amoriello, a guitarist and educator, described himself as a longstanding fan of the Jazz Fly books. So he chose that focus for his “Yay, Storytime!” column. He asked lots

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About Permissions to Read My Picture Books Online

Since spring, with schools closed due to the new Coronavirus, teachers and librarians have taken to story time by remote. And my in-box has been filled with requests from around the country for permission to read my books, including The Jazz Fly musical books, online. Thank you,

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How to create an original call and response chant

 ZLOH…ZLEE…ZLOH-ZLEE-ZLOO! Create an original call and response chant to instantly focus children’s attention–in the classroom, library, over the intercom, or at home! Greetings teachers (that includes principals, librarians, parents and grandparents), With the start of school, it’s time to put an extra bounce in our step. Before we

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10 Jazz Books to Connect Kids to Music and the Wider World

(This thematic round-up first appeared as a guest post on  Hop. Boom. Skiddily-bop. Bing!  Let’s start the new school year in rhythm, shall we, with 10 books that connect kids to this music we call jazz. The jazz picture book genre has evolved! By now, music loving

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Modeling Thoughtful Citizenship (Even When Politicians Don’t)

Greetings Teachers, Librarians and Administrators, As schools gear up for another fall semester, there are still some days left to walk around in sandals, enjoy chilled watermelon, and daydream about how to make this year a great one for students. (As an author/speaker, I think about that

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On Beyond Dr. Seuss for Read Across America Day

Children's Poetry

Much as I love Dr. Seuss, elementary schools would do better on Read Across America Day to focus on poetry with more wide ranging vocabulary like Falling Up (Shel Silverstein) and It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles (Jack Prelutsky). I just re-read both, and they’re terrific! The problem

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The Jazz Fly read by 4th grade Korean students

Looks like Mr. Kelly’s “Jazz Fly students” at the Korean School in Yokohama, Japan outdid themselves! Highly imaginative project for English language learners : )

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Family Reading Nights: the High Wire Act of Literacy Events

Happy New Year, MLK Day and Year of the Monkey early! Around this time, many schools plan literacy events to remind families of the myriad benefits of reading books together. Family nights, compared to teacher workshops and daytime assemblies for students, are the high wire act of

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In Praise of School Volunteers!

  St. Patrick’s School Reading Week Committee from left: Parent Volunteer Jackie Johnson, Sister Maureen (Principal), Parent Volunteers Donna Cahill and Martha Pierce This post is in praise of school volunteers, the dedicated parents—and sometimes just caring neighbors—who take on responsibilities to help schools offer more. Their

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Gobble, Quack, Moon a hit in the Middle East

Letters from readers are especially sweet when they come from far away. From Kuwait in the case of this note from American teacher Alex Hogan and the students at her bilingual school: “This week at our school is ‘I Love To Read Week!’ I was the mystery

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Meet Matthew

I have a passion for encouraging young people to read--and for encouraging parents to read to their kids. "Language, rhythm, color, life!"™ are the threads I weave through my books and presentations. Read more...

Schedule Matthew for your

School Assemblies

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Contact Matthew


Phone: (707) 544-4720 PST

To email, please click the green icon above.

Tortuga Press

2777 Yulupa Ave. #181
Santa Rosa, CA 95405

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Matthew makes reading FUN!

"Language, rhythm, color, life!"™