Matthew Christian Reinhart was born September 21, 1971 to Gary and Judith Reinhart in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The son of a farmer, his father Gary joined the Navy to become jet fighter pilot, and so the family moved around the country, from Florida to Texas to Illinois to California to Virginia and then South Carolina. Gary wanted to be more than a pilot (which was pretty amazing itself) so he went on to Dental School and studied to be an oral surgeon. Judith and Matthew followed along, and soon to be joined by his mischievous little sister, Erin. Often times, Gary's training took him to places they couldn't follow (even on aircraft carriers), so Judy took charge. Matthew's childhood was filled with good times and very happy memories overall, thanks to his family.
Art was always a tremendously huge part of Matthew's young life. Drawing pictures and making crafts were his favorite activities, in school and out. Matthew drew whenever and wherever he got the chance. His school notebooks often had more drawings than notes! He loved drawing and reading about all creatures and animals so much, he drew them everywhere! Dinosaurs, like about every kid on the planet, were his absolute favorite to draw and Matthew could rattle off the name of every single one before learning to add or subtract. As he got older, Matthew was captivated by the movie STAR WARS. The richness of the universe George Lucas created on the screen fueled his young imagination, inspiring countless sketchbooks filled with monsters, spaceships, and action heroes.
Like most high school graduates, Matthew wasn't completely focused on a career. He was unaware he could make a living being an artist. Like most doctors' children, his father convinced him to study biology to prepare for medical school. College life at Clemson University was busy and fun for Matthew, but he was never really satisfied. Medicine was not his true calling. Along with his required biology courses, Matthew snuck in a few art classes, and built up a bit of a portfolio. After graduating Cum Laude from Clemson, he took a year off before medical school and moved to New York, where he met Robert Sabuda and they began doing volunteer work together. Robert's book, Christmas Alphabet had just released to rave reviews, and persuaded Matthew follow his calling by attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. With his parents' blessing and support, Matthew enrolled as an industrial design (with a concentration in toy design) student the following year. Pratt was fantastic, eye opening experience for him, though his initial dreams of being a toy designer soon transformed into paper engineer- with the help of Mr. Sabuda. After working with Robert on books like "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", "A B C Disney" and "Movable Mother Goose". Matthew made his first big break into the pop-up world with "The Pop Up Book Of Phobias". Other books followed, including both collaborations with Robert Sabuda, including their trilogy of "Encyclopedia Prehistorica" books and renowned illustrator Maurice Sendak on the New York Times best-selling "Mommy?", and also even solo pop-up projects like "The Ark", "Animal Popposites", "The Jungle Book", "Cinderella" and his dream-of-all-dream projects, "STAR WARS: Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy", "The Pop-Up Book of Nursery Rhymes". His latest series, "Encyclopedia Mythologica", includes "Fairies & Magical Creatures" and the newly-released "Gods & Heroes". In honor of the 75th Anniversary of DC COMICS, Matthew has created a massive pop-up celebration titled "DC COMICS Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book", to be released in Fall 2010. He continues to work and live in New York City, cutting, taping and folding paper into intricate, moving sculptures.
More books by Matthew Reinhart