Matthew Cordell (he/him)

“One of the great pleasures of my career is being able to meet the many children and adults all over who might have encountered my books. It means so much to be invited into a school, a book festival, or a conference to share my love of reading, writing, and drawing with children, educators, and parents who in turn provide endless inspiration to me.”


Matthew Cordell is the Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator of Wolf and the Snow, Evergreen, Cornbread and Poppy, Wish, Bear Island, and Hello Neighbor: The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers. He is also the illustrator of numerous highly acclaimed children’s books including Every Dog in the Neighborhood (written by Philip C. Stead), Bob, Not Bob! (written by Audrey Vernick and Liz Garton Scanlon), and Leeva at Last (written by Sara Pennypacker). His books have been best-of-the-year selections by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, NPR, and, and have been translated into many languages.

Matthew was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. Growing up, he loved to read Maurice Sendak, Richard Scarry, and Dr. Seuss. He also loved to draw. Matthew studied art and graphic design at Winthrop University, and after college, he moved to Chicago to pursue his passion, a career in design and fine art. Soon, his paintings and drawings were being shown in galleries throughout Chicago and beyond.

While in Chicago, Matthew met and began dating an elementary school librarian named Julie Halpern. Julie was also a budding and talented writer, and together, they wrote, illustrated, and submitted a picture book proposal to twenty publishers. It would go on to receive nineteen rejection letters, but that twentieth response was the one that changed everything. In 2004, Houghton Mifflin published Toby and the Snowflakes, thus beginning Matthew’s career in and love for the crafting of books for young readers.

Matthew lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife and sometime collaborator, author Julie Halpern, and their two children.

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