Sha Kok Mei author takes kids for ride on wild side

Sha Kok Mei author Matt Cooper and his children

Sha Kok Mei author Matt Cooper publishes his second book this month.  Black Rain Day is a “kids’ book set in the place we live in”, Matt said. Local animals take a child on a ride through the wild side of Hong Kong. 

Matt’s first book, Lost in Hong Kong, has been reprinted three times and sold over 2000 copies. It’s not about making money, he said. “I’d earn more working at MacDonald’s. Plus I’d get a nice uniform and a nutritious meal each shift.”

He started writing because his son, now 6, was fascinated by cars, buses and trains, anything to do with transport. Lost in Hong Kong follows a boy called Tim Chan who chases his dog across Hong Kong finding his way through the transport system, helped by strangers. 

The new book, published this month by Muffin Books, sees a girl, Neve, break out of a boring day at home during torrential black rain. Local animals take her on a ride through the territory. “She finds out Hong Kong is a lot wilder than she imagined.” The illustrations are by Stephanie Suen, a recent graduate at the Hong Kong campus of the international Savannah College of Art and Design, known as SCAD.

Matt also has a daughter, 4. He splits his time between writing and looking after the children while his wife works as a teacher. Matt also does talks and readings at schools such as the Hong Kong Academy.

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Illustrations by Stephanie Suen in Black Rain Day

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