Friday, May 3, 2013

Featured Author: Froukje Matthews

About the book:

This book covers ten topics that have come up time and again in her life as a Montessori teacher. These are issues every new parent without exception has struggled with and it is her desire to pass on what she have learned as a parent, a teacher and a ‘parent coach’.
Topics like sharing and discipline, tantrums and manners. It is not possible to talk about changing a child’s behaviour without talking about the role of parents in the context of a child’s life. However, parents too are learning new skills at the same time as they are supposed to teach their child what it is like to be human. That is no mean feat.
We act with good intentions, we do our best and yet the outcome is not as desired. Why is that so? This book will attempt to demonstrate how better results can be achieved by explaining what it looks like from the child’s point of view.

Read an excerpt of the book.

Interview with Froukje Matthews

How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I have always been writing in the same way that an artist always draws or a musician is drawn to making music and a dancer must move…

I always recorded what I saw, experienced, felt using pencil and paper.

What do you like best about writing?

Using language as a tool to get across ideas, concepts, that is what I like.

What’s your least favorite thing?

The task of proof reading I like least of all.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

I didn’t, my illustrator did. He thought my title too boring!

Tell us about the artist.

The illustrator is my youngest son, a musician and an artist and a father. He was the  reason that I eventually got ‘my act together’ because he asked me the same questions as other new parents when he became a dad.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

I run Montessori Playgroups and Pre-school classes.

How would you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters or less.)

My book is meant as ‘a snack for thoughts’ to be read over a cup of coffee and only a chapter at the time.

What books have you read more than once or want to read again?

Inspirational books I can read and re-read as well as books on human development on every level.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

"I’m on your side Charlie Brown." – Peanuts.

What do you do to market your book?

I have only just started to advertise locally, plan a celebratory evening, drop cards with the website to all relevant places that have anything to do with parents and children, go online, contact magazines and radio programs that feature anything to do with books, parents or children.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

Puff the Magic Dragon. That songs sums up early childhood for me...

Who are your favorite authors?

In the English language: Joseph Campbell, Dava Sobel, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens to name a few...

What are your favorite books or favorite authors

a) as a child: In the English language: Winnie the Pooh, Paddington 
b) as a teenager: Agatha Christie and Krishnamurti
c) as an adult: Joseph Campbell, Eckhart Tolle, Monica Dickens, Bill Bryson, and many many more...

Which author would you most like to invite to dinner, and what would you fix him?

I'd like to invite Chris Stewart Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Spain because I think he has so many yarns...and I don’t think he is a picky eater as long as it’s fresh!

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

Soft cover: Our woman in Kabul by Iris Makler.

Do you have a routine for writing?

I write best in the morning.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I write best in between doing household tasks; I really don’t like sitting still for a long time.

Where’s home for you?


Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where you live.

One weird thing: When I just moved here I had a recurring dream that turned out to be part of this region’s history. The dream was like a snapshot of what had occurred here.
One nice thing: The sky is more often than not blue and the air is always filled with the sound of birds.
One fact: This seaside town used to be a whaler’s station.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

"There’s more to life than meets the eye." – anonymous.

What three books have you read recently and would recommend?

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce Perry, and French Children Don’t Throw Food by Pamela Druckermann.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?|

Reading, working in the garden, going for a walk and sitting on a terrace with a friend and have a cup of coffee.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

France or Spain.

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Brazil, China, and again France and Spain.

What are you working on now?

A second volume of ten topics parents of young children are confronted with.

The Terrible Ten

1.    Name one thing you couldn’t live without.


2.    If you could only keep one book, what would it be?

        Emmanuel’s book.

3.    Your last meal would be…

        fresh garden salad.

4.    Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?


5.    You won the lottery. What’s the first thing you would buy? 

        A flute.

6.    You’re given the day off, and you can do anything but write. What would you do?

        Sit on a terrace and watch the world go by.

7.    You’re driven to a private plane and told it will take you anywhere your want to go.
        Where would it be?


8.    You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?

         A musician.

9.    Where would your dream office be?

         A shack on the river.

10.    If you could do only one, would you rather read or write?


About the author:

Froukje Matthews studied for and trained as a primary school teacher in her native Holland, obtained Montessori teaching qualifications (3-6 and 6-9 cycles) in Australia, as well as a post-grad Diploma in Early Childhood Education from the QUT (Brisbane, Queensland). She taught Kumon Math to all ages, worked as and ESL teacher in Spain, and has run her own Montessori Playgroup and preschool for over twenty years. She speaks five languages and has lived in a number of countries.

She closely identifies with little children who learn their language from scratch and wants to help parents to become aware of what the learning journey is like for children under the age six. She is a grandmother, married to an artist and has three adult children.

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