Matthew Cordell writes and illustrates picture books and chapter books for children. His nearly wordless picture book, Wolf in the Snow, was awarded the 2018 Caldecott Medal. He has written and illustrated many other popular (and often very funny) picture books, including Trouble Gum, King Alice, Another Brother, and Hello! Hello! and illustrated If the S in Moose Comes Loose, Toot Toot Zoom!, Special Delivery, the Justin Case chapter book series, and many more.
Watch the interview below to learn about Matthew and his approach to storytelling and illustration, view the interview transcript, read a short biography, or see a selected list of his children's books.
Matthew Cordell has illustrated poetry, novels, and picture books for children including If the S in Moose Comes Loose, Special Delivery, and the Justin Case chapter book series. He has also written and illustrated many picture books himself, including Wolf in the Snow, Another Brother, Hello! Hello!, Wish, and Dream. Matthew’s books have been recognized by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. In 2018, his wordless picture book, Wolf in the Snow, received the prestigious Caldecott Award.
As a young boy, Matthew was really excited by comics and comic art featuring superheroes like Spiderman and X-Men. In high school, he discovered drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking — and later decided to pursue a college degree in graphic design. The design world proved a bit too conventional for him and he began looking for other outlets for his creativity and imagination. Matthew got involved with Chicago's zine community where he met picture book author and YA novelist Julie Halpern (now his wife) who talked him into trying his hand at children's book illustration.
Writing and illustrating picture books gives Matthew the chance to explore characters, humor, drawing styles, pen nibs, and different media. His expressive, loose illustration style is influenced by Jules Feiffer, William Steig, Quentin Blake, and other artists who also love the "imperfect" line.
Matthew lives and works in the suburbs of Chicago, sharing a home with his wife and two wonderful children and a cat named Norbert.