Bundaberg teacher, musician and author Matthew Barker has released his third book called The Three Ghouls, inspired by his family life.
The father-of-three uses the rhythm of rhyme to capture the attention of young minds while sharing the angst felt by many parents in preparation for their children’s bedtime.
He said The Three Ghouls was a light-hearted gothic tale of three ghoul children entering the night, and it was sure to be a hit with all the family.
“The story was originally inspired by my children and the frustrations that many parents go through with bedtime,” Matthew said.
“The stages of bedtime that range from not being tired, needing a drink or going to the toilet, finding the favourite teddy to jumping around and making noise.”
Being a local teacher, Matthew has taken the opportunity to educate young children through his storytelling.
He said each of the incidents in The Three Ghouls story related to one of the five senses.
“I wanted to include some sort of educational element that readers could engage with and relate to,” he said.
“(It’s) an adventure that introduces children to the five basic senses while encompassing the importance of family – a story to be enjoyed by young and old.
“This book, like the previous two releases, is written in rhyme and I think that is because of my music background.”
Matthew has previously published two children’s books based on his personal experiences.
My Parents Bought a Caravan was inspired by his family’s trip to set off around Australia, and The Grey Cloud was based on emotions felt during COVID-19 lockdowns and regulations.
“This is my third children's book,” he said.
“I began writing this story between my first and second released children's books, however it took some time to get the story to where it needed to be,” Matthew said.
“This book is fully self-published and self-funded, with all Australian printing and distribution.
“It also took time finding the right illustrator for the project.
“The illustrations for this story had to be just right as the story is aimed at a younger audience however it has a gothic, Halloween theme.
“So, the balance between scary and family friendly was of high priority.
“The illustrator chosen was Sean Stallan-Stritch who is a graphic designer from Toowoomba.
“He found the perfect balance between what I had envisioned, the family friendly and gothic horror themes and infused this with his own creative flair.”
The Three Ghouls will be released on 18 October and it can be pre-ordered via email or purchased at Bundaberg Book Boutique.