Here are just some of the comments kindly provided by schools I've visited:
"We have had the pleasure of hosting Matthew Cooper at ISS International School on a number of occasions, and each visit has left our students feeling inspired and excited about reading! He takes the time to not only share his delightful stories, but also provides a glimpse into the writer's process and purpose. On a recent visit to ISS, Matthew shared his book The Last Gibbon with our Grade 5 students. They were amazed to learn about the research that went into the creation of the book, and our students were eager to apply this process as part of their own inquiry. On a previous visit, our Grades 3 and 4 relished the opportunity to receive signed copies of Singapore Snowflakes. Suffice to say, teachers and students alike look forward to his next visit to ISS! The teaching environment at ISS is dynamic, as our academic staff adopt creative methods to strengthen the interest and optimise our students' learning opportunities. These experiential times spent with Matthew will certainly ignite the writer's passion in our students!"
Allyson Thompson, ES Teacher/Librarian, ISS International School, Singapore
"Matt visited our four and five year old students for their PYP Unit of Inquiry on Where We Are In Place And Time with the central idea “Celebrations and traditions can be connected through place and time.” Matt read his book 'Celebrate Hong Kong!' and did a wonderful, interactive session on different celebrations found in his book, as well as, his home country of Britain. For days following the visit, the students talked constantly about his pictures, stories and games, especially the Cheese Rolling Festival! He also shared with them about his job as an author and where he gets his inspiration to write stories. This helped to jump-start their inquiry into their next unit on How We Express Ourselves through story. The Early Years is a difficult age to create an engaging experience for students, as maintaining their interest can be quite the hurdle. Matt was a natural with the young children and captivated them with ease. We look forward to having him back to our school in the future."
Alyssa Goma, PYP Teacher, Kingston International Kindergarten, Hong Kong
“The children in Year 2 at Victoria Shanghai Academy were fortunate enough to have author Matthew Cooper come and share one of his wonderful stories with them. Matt captivated the children’s attention with his interactive and interesting visual prompts, which caused much discussion between them. His knowledge on habitat destruction left them inspired to take action to protect natural habitats. Matt proved a huge success with staff and children. I would highly recommend Matt to any school.”
Ashley Reid, Y2 Head, Victoria Shanghai Academy, Hong Kong
“As part of our school’s literacy festival, Matthew Cooper, an author from Sai Kung, Hong Kong, came in and did several story-telling sessions with our students. He read his book 'Black Rain Day' which the children really enjoyed. He then led an interactive session on habitats that was linked to his book and Hong Kong, as well as made us aware of the endangered Hainan Gibbon. The children were captivated by his presentation and it linked very nicely to our PYP Unit of Inquiry on Sharing the Planet. He also introduced us to the Hainan Gibbon, which only has 25 left of its species. The children were amazed to learn this fact about an animal that lives very close to Hong Kong, and it became a conversation and learning piece over the next couple of weeks of school following his visit. It was wonderful to see an author not only share his book with the children, but also make the connections to real learning experiences.”
Jan Rossiter, Head Teacher, Victoria Kindergarten, Hong Kong
“Matt was a consummate professional, tailoring his visits to match our curriculum topics, whilst also managing to connect, entertain and inspire our students. In particular, the students who heard 'The Last Gibbon' left their session full of ideas on how to educate others on the plight of the Hainan gibbon and were truly motivated to make a difference. He is a natural with the students, and happy to answer all questions including his age which seemed to be a popular topic!”
Lisa Share, School Librarian, Kellett School, Hong Kong
“Matt visited our school twice: once to share 'Black Rain Day' and once to share 'The Last Gibbon'. The students loved the characters in the books and were eager to ask questions about the process of writing and environmental issues which are raised in the books in a very child-friendly manner. The teachers gave very positive feedback, commenting particularly on the age appropriateness of the books and presentations and the enthusiastic response from the children. Our P2 teacher told me how 'The Last Gibbon' inspired students to take initiative to research different animal species and their relationship with humans and the environment. Parents commented on how their children came home full of information about the animals in the books and their enthusiasm to protect endangered species.”
Cath Wan, Vice Principal, Japanese International School, Hong Kong
“Matthew Cooper's books are very popular in our school and widely borrowed so we were all very excited to have him visit Kennedy School in Hong Kong early in 2017. Matt was fabulous with the children and was able to engage them throughout his book reading. Our children listened attentively and also participated along the way. Our teachers were impressed by the interest the children had in the books and the amount of orders we received afterwards was testament to how much everybody enjoyed Matt's visit. We're looking forward to the publication of Matt's fourth book and wish him well in Singapore.”
Susan Mifsud, Library Assistant, ESF Kennedy School, Hong Kong
"Matthew made many connections to the children’s world and to the wider world. His talks catered closely to the age groups he addressed and were supported by strong texts (great illustrations, simple but evocative text) but he also provided a lot of value beyond the text, and that was noticed and appreciated by students. Matthew led effective questioning - open-ended, probing, patient with thinking time - with a warm, engaging tone."
John Urquhart, PYP Coordinator, Think International School, Hong Kong
"Matthew Cooper visited Chinese International School and shared his books 'Black Rain Day', 'Lost in Hong Kong', and 'The Last Gibbon' with our Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 students. His sessions were tailored to suit each year level, were entertaining, engaging and inspiring. The students could connect with the characters in the books and the various environmental issues they raised. His immense knowledge of the Hainan gibbon and passionate desire to spread awareness of their plight was inspiring, generating much discussion and many questions about different endangered species. Matt is a natural storyteller and has won many fans amongst the students and staff."
Shakilla Prabhakar, Assistant Librarian, Chinese International School, Hong Kong