Meet: Matthew Robins, the creator of the Max and George children’s books

Posted on August 12, 2014



What was the inspiration for the book?

I have always wanted to write a book and have always known that I wanted to bring back the morals that books/TV Shows showed when I was a child in the 1980’s.

I remember shows having a short sketch at the end of the story that would teach children such ideas/morals from, not to talk to strangers to looking both ways before crossing the road.

Although these were simple I felt these messages are key to a young child’s development.

Page 1How did you come up with the characters?

In keeping with my wish to develop a story that would deliver a message in an entertaining manner I needed to create characters that a child would relate to. The character of George was inspired by my own stuffed monkey.

Although not a childhood toy (I purchased him at the age of 30+), he developed his own personality whilst I was working alone from home.

Both my wife and I use him to use BSL and we often have a conversation through him. I also felt that the human characteristics of monkeys and the loveable nature of them would create a memorable character.

Max is loosely based upon myself due to this relationship. I suffer from Tinitus and therefore am experiencing hearing loss in my right ear.

Further inspiration for Max came from my wife who works in a local primary school with a specialist department that caters for children between the ages of 5 and 11 who have a hearing loss.

With Max I wanted to create a character that increased Deaf awareness but did not make it the main focus of the story.

With this I hope to show that those individuals who are deaf go through the same experiences as those who do not.

The cover of the book

The cover of the book

Did you have to do any research for it?

My research was mostly personal experience and a desire to deliver a message.

Through informal discussions with my wife, members of the local deaf club and those learning BSL I learned that there is often an apprehension from those who are deaf to socialise and integrate with their hearing peers.

Conversely, there is the same apprehension from those hearing individuals who are reluctant to interact with deaf peers.

Therefore, in this particular story I wanted to address this and show that it is more than possible for both individuals to interact and both would bring great skills, experiences and friendship.

What has the response been like?

The book has been well received by those in the Deaf community with many individuals relating to difficulties that Max was facing at the beginning of the story.

The National Deaf Children’s Society has recently published a very favourable review of the book. The book has also appeared in the Buckinghamshire edition of the Primary Times.

I have also appeared in two local Newspapers, my local Parish Newsletter. I am currently waiting to hear back from Waterstones and WH Smith to see if they are willing to stock the book in their stores. Forest Books have already taken stock of the book.

Will you create more books?

I would indeed love to create a series of Max and George books. I already have a number of ideas for a few follow up stories in the future and have even created storyboard for a sequel to Max and George Make New Friends.

Find out more and order a book via the website: www.maxandgeorgebooks.com

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