Tina Matthews

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Christina "Tina" Matthews (born 1961)[1] is a New Zealand author/illustrator and a puppetmaker who was born in Wellington and works in Sydney, Australia. She also played bass guitar in bands such as The Wide-Mouthed Frogs and The Crocodiles.


In 1979, Tina Matthews (born 1961 in Wellington, New Zealand) joined an all-girl group, The Wide Mouthed Frogs in Wellington, playing bass guitar.[2][3][4] Fellow members were Jenny Morris on lead vocals, Katie Brockie on vocals, Andrea Gilkison on guitar, Bronwyn Murray on keyboards and Sally Zwartz on drums.[5] In 1979 they released the track, "Some Day" for the compilation album, Home Grown Volume One and turned down the support act for a Split Enz tour.[citation needed] In 1980 they played the high-profile Sweetwaters Music Festival after which The Wide Mouthed Frogs disbanded. Morris and Matthews then joined The Crocodiles.

The Crocodiles regularly performed in Auckland.[5] In January 1980 they played Sweetwaters Music Festival and in April that year released their debut album Tears which, along with its lead single "Tears" reached No. 17 on the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand charts.[5][6] In 1980 The Crocodiles won 'Best Group' and 'Most Promising Group' at the New Zealand Music Awards.[5][7]

Matthews began her puppet making career in 1979, working on Summer City, a community arts project run by Graeme Nesbitt for the QE II Arts Council in New Zealand. In 1982 Matthews moved to Sydney where she worked with master puppet makers Ross Hill, Beverley Campbell-Jackson and Peter Chester and director Richard Bradshaw at the Marionette Theatre of Australia. During the 1980s Matthews honed her skills by working on the Jim Henson movie Labyrinth, starring David Bowie.[8] She later worked with designer Garth Frost to fabricate the puppets for Australian ABC television programme The Ferals and produced puppets for the ABC's Bananas in Pyjamas and The Upside Down Show with The Umbilical Brothers.

Matthews' first book, Out of the Egg, was published in Australia and New Zealand by Walker Books Australia and in the USA by Houghton Mifflin Company in 2007.[9] It is illustrated with Japanese woodblock prints. Out of the Egg has been used by Arena Stage Theatre in Washington [10] and is recommended in Walter E. Sawyer's Growing Up With Literature.[11] Out of the Egg has also been adapted into a play by Diamond Harbour Public School in New Zealand.[12]

Out of the Egg was nominated in the Picture Book section of the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and won the award for Best First Book.[13]

Waiting for Later was published by Walker Books Australia in 2011.[14] It is about a young girl growing up over an autumn afternoon and the strongest themes are family, love of nature and independence. Waiting for Later is illustrated with wood block and stencil prints. It was shortlisted for the 2011 QLD Premier's Literary Awards, the NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and the LIANZA Russell Clark award for illustration.

Matthews' picture book, A Great Cake is about imaginative play and home cooking.[15] It is illustrated with stencils and woodblock prints and published by Walker Books Australia. A Great Cake was shorted listed for the 2013 NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and won the LIANZA Russell Clark Award for illustration.

So Many Wonderfuls, a picture book for the young and old, was published by Walker Books Australia in 2014.

In 1993 Tina Matthews self-published the Black and White Baby Mobile for newborn babies.[16] It has sold over 25,000 copies and continues to be manufactured in Australia, distributed from Matthews' studio and sold in shops throughout Australia and New Zealand.

As well as creating picture books Matthews is a part-time and occasional puppetry teacher at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) in Sydney.[13] She was writer and illustrator in residence at the University of New England, Armidale during May 2014.


The Crocodiles[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Out of the egg / Tina Matthews". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  2. ^ McFarlane (1999). Encyclopedia entry for 'Jenny Morris'. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  3. ^ "Performance Costume worn by Jenny Morris". Powerhouse Collection. D*hub. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Holmgren, Magnus; Warnqvist, Stefan. "Jenny Morris". Australian Rock Database. Passagen.se (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Sergent, Bruce. "Crocodiles". Bruce Sergent. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Discography The Crocodiles". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "1980 NZ Music Award Winners". New Zealand Music Awards. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  8. ^ "Labyrinth Credits". C.L Gunn. 2005. Archived from the original on 3 January 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  9. ^ http://www.hmhco.com/bookstore/authors/Tina-Matthews/2222229
  10. ^ "Moving Stories". Arena Stage. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  11. ^ name=https://books.google.com/books?id=qa4IAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA119&lpg=PA119&dq=Houghton+Mifflin+Harcourt+tina+matthews+Out+of+the+Egg&source=bl&ots=T_unDAiZ-q&sig=iLUOcn1h_eacYNjMiVv0te2hEvA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hdE5VPmOKIL88QXrzoDoCQ&ved=0CEwQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Houghton%20Mifflin%20Harcourt%20tina%20matthews%20Out%20of%20the%20Egg&f=false
  12. ^ "Out of the Egg". YouTube. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Matthews, Tina". New Zealand Book Council. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "Waiting For Later". Walker Books Australia. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "A Great Cake". Walker Books Australia. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Black and White Baby Mobile". 

External links[edit]