MATT STANTON’S ‘Funny Kid’ series debuted as the #1 Australian kids’ book and is now sold all around the world. He’s put a whopping one million funny books into the hands of kids! Impressive, hey!
Good Reading for Kids was lucky enough to as Matt some questions as Funny Kid Snowballs (12) is hitting you local bookshop and library.
I wanted to create stories. I’ve always wanted to create stories. My grandma lived in a different state and she used to visit her local library, borrow children’s books and record herself reading them (that might be illegal, but don’t worry, she got away with it). Then she would send the recordings to me and I would sit and listen to her read to me. She might have accidentally invented audiobooks. Stories have an incredible power to connect us and I’ve always wanted to be part of that.
When did you discover you could draw?
I wasn’t allowed to watch ‘The Simpson’s when I was a kid, but all my friends loved it. They would talk about the episodes each day and I would feel left out. I was having breakfast one morning and, in the middle of a mouthful of cornflakes, suddenly realised how I could be cooler. There were pictures of the Simpsons characters on the cereal box. I kept the box and started copying the characters. I practiced and practiced until I could draw the characters for my friends.
I may have had no idea what they were talking about, but they loved my drawings! And I learned that if I practiced enough, I could draw anything. I’ve never stopped.
When did you decide to add writing to your drawing?
It was the other way around. I always wanted to be a writer for a job, but I thought my drawing was just something I did for fun (other than the brief period where I thought I might become a Disney animator or a newspaper cartoonist). After I finished school, I discovered that book design was a job. I went to university and studied graphic design and I started designing other people’s books.
I did that for 13 years while I was writing my own stories and trying to get published. Then my friend Tim Miller and I had an idea for a picture book and I started drawing. The rest is history!
You make us laugh … a lot. What makes you laugh?
So many things make me laugh! I love laughing. Books, movies, my kids, stand-up comedians, animals being uncoordinated, things that look funny and funny ways of looking at things, my wife Beck, turtles, people walking through wet cement, funny looking babies and the prank where someone keeps adding shampoo to someone else’s hair without them noticing.
That’s it. That’s the full list.
Yes! His name is Maverick and I know he looks like a dog, but actually he’s a grizzly bear dressed up as a dog.
Learn how to draw Maw from ‘Funny Kid’!