Mattland Share this with a friend

by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert
illustrated by Dušan Petričić

Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award, Canadian Library Association Alberta Literary Award Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award 100 Best Canadian Kids’ Books, Today’s Parent Magazine Best Bets List, Ontario Library Association Blue Spruce Reading Award nomination

Matt is miserable. The subdivision where he now lives is surrounded by nothing but muddy fields of rocks and sticks. But when Matt ventures out, his imagination kicks in. He draws a muddy, winding line and names it Snake River. A pile of rocks becomes the Dog Tooth Mountains. Just like that, Mattland is born.

Soon a little girl shows up with a handful of helpful odds and ends. Piece by piece, she and Matt expand their new world with popsicle-stick bridges and scrap-paper boats. And when a rainstorm finally threatens to wash everything away, all the neighborhood kids appear and help stave off the flood.

Evocative of childhood friendships and with sublime illustrations that brighten in color as the story progresses, Mattland is an inspiring ode to cooperative play.



“One of those perfect picture books where text and illustrations brilliantly play off each other.”
—Quill & Quire, *starred review, 02/08

“Has much to offer those who find themselves in a new place, and to creative souls needing inspiration . . . eloquent and beautifully illustrated.”
—School Library Journal, *starred review, 06/08

“[A] beautifully imagined, beautifully executed picture book.”
—Globe and Mail, 03/24/08

“Lovely . . . successful on all fronts.”
—Sunday Book Review, New York Times, 11/9/08

“A rich and multi-layered testament to imagination and the collaborative nature of play. Highly Recommended.”
—CM Reviews, 06/08

“The writing is gripping and thoughtful.”
—Resource Links, 06/08

“The creation of Mattland is a riveting notion that kids will be keen to emulate.”
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, 09/08

“A world worth exploring.”
—Canadian Children’s Book News, 10/08

“Sparse prose and skillful illustrations . . . will give young readers a sense of the experience of displacement.”
—Book Links, 01/10

“I love the sparse text and the unique perspective of the image This is a great book … for talking about feeling . . . like an outsider.”
—, 03/16/11