The various jobs Matt Bloom has worked over the years have supported and informed much of his fiction writing. Kitchen hand, freight elevator operator, migrant laborer, truck driver, bartender, and anti-money laundering investigator, to name just a few.
A Vassar College graduate, Matt has spent most of his life in New York City, but has also lived in Australia, Mexico, Montauk, NY, Jersey City, NJ, and Ohio. He’s now settled in the beautiful Hudson Valley with his wife, Shelley Simmons-Bloom.
Matt’s first published work was a short story in the Westside Spirit, a free weekly newspaper that still exists several decades later! His novels are "Blue Paradise" (1998), "A Death in the Hamptons" (2002), "The Last Romantic" (2005), and "Salt of the Nation" (2019), which have earned Matt fellowships at Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, and a residence at MacDowell Artists’ Colony.
While Matt is primarily an adult fiction writer, he has also been inspired by his adored tuxedo cat, Bunny, who stars in Matt’s award-winning young readers chapter book series so far comprised of "Hello, My Name is Bunny! New York City" (2016), "Hello, My Name is Bunny! London" (2018), "Hello, My Name is Bunny! Paris" (2022), and "Hello, My Name is Bunny! Tokyo" (2023). The "Hello, My Name is Bunny!" books have won New York City Big Book, Independent Press, Moonbeam, and Nautilus book awards. Hopefully, more to come!
“A rollicking, funny, surprisingly thoughtful sendup of the current climate of political discontent.”
– Kirkus Reviews
In Bloom’s satire, a New Jersey man punches out a Republican senator campaigning for the presidency and becomes a national sensation.
Harry McBride is an ornery gravel worker in New Jersey. Just like his father who left him, his “prospects of escape diminish[ed] with each year spent swinging that big scoop shovel.” When he has the opportunity to shake the hand of Idaho Sen. Joseph P. Landon, a “true blue Republican” running for president, he clocks him in the face without so much as uttering a word. A stunned Landon ends up in the hospital with a broken nose and tailbone, and Harry somehow eludes capture by Secret Service agents and flees with the intention of making it to Mexico. Grover Budd, a bombastic radio personality clearly modeled on Rush Limbaugh, tries to demonize Harry, suggesting he’s part of a conspiracy organized by the Democratic Party to humiliate Landon. But Harry becomes a huge hit, his skyrocketing popularity fueled by social media. The principal reason he isn’t immediately caught? Most people are unwilling to turn him in. As one political strategist succinctly puts it, Harry encapsulates all the things the public at large is fed up with: “Of politicians and lobbyists, of backroom deals and huge corporations getting all the breaks while they cheat and exploit people like him. He’s sick and tired of all that and he’s sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Capturing this feeling of cultural frustration is one of Bloom’s (Hello, My Name Is Bunny!, 2018, etc.) chief strengths. At first, Harry seems unsure why he assaulted the senator, but that ambiguity isn’t ambivalence—like the electorate of which he is a microcosm, he’s seething with anger. The author masterfully allows that contempt and confusion to cohabitate within the story. Budd’s character is the one misstep—he’s drawn hyperbolically into a cartoon caricature, especially conspicuous during a grim sex scene. However, that lack of sensitivity is only so obvious precisely because it’s such a stark departure from the thoughtfulness of the rest of the book.
A rollicking, funny, surprisingly thoughtful sendup of the current climate of political discontent.
Pub Date: March 28, 2019
Page count: 202pp
Publisher: Adelaide Books
Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020
The fourth entry in Bloom’s children’s series takes Bunny the cat and readers to Tokyo.
Bunny Doogle Simmons-Bloom, the lovable black-and-white cat who travels around the world with her human parents, finds herself in the colorful streets of Tokyo in this installment. There she meets Fumiko the falcon, who, after the death of her husband at the hands of humans, is convinced people are only nice to animals they find cute. Bunny then introduces herself to Haruto, a kind old man who was left blind after the “environmental damage” caused by the long- ago war between the United States and Japan. As Bunny learns some elementary Japanese and how to write haikus from Haruto, she stumbles upon the “Wild Bunch,” a gang of rough-and-tumble cats who are feuding with a rival cat gang called the “Suzuki Crew.” When the Wild Bunch is forced to relocate from their established home, Bunny hatches a brilliant plan for the two gangs to live together in peace. She’ll have to put all her diplomatic skills to use to broker such a deal, since both sides remain highly suspicious of the other’s intentions. With the same kind of simple advice and clear lessons found in the series’ previous entries, Bunny encourages kids to keep going even in the face of setbacks: “What did help is knowing from experience that bad circumstances can get better if you keep trying, if you just hang in there.” Readers will also learn a bit about Japanese culture, including elements of Shintoism, and gain an appreciation for where their food comes from via descriptions of the city’s bustling fish market. The beautiful color illustrations by Mayell scattered throughout lend a sense of playfulness to the adventures that perfectly matches Bunny’s wide-eyed innocence. A question section at the book’s conclusion drives home the real-world lessons that Bunny learns.
A sweet and simple tale of forgiveness that teaches kids and adults alike the value of helping others.
Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2023
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Hello Bunny LLC
Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
The third installment in Bloom’s children’s book series brings the curious cat to the sophisticated streets of Paris.
Bunny Simmons-Bloom, the kindhearted black-and-white cat who traversed New York and London in her previous two books, receives some impressively high praise from the French prime minister for her heroic acts: “When all is said and done, this little kitty will undoubtedly be considered one of the most significant figures in French history.” Bunny then backtracks to explain how her accolades came to be earned: During one of her nightly explorations of Paris, Bunny meets a host of new friends when she sneaks into the Louvre, including Renoir the rat; his sister, Renata; Spidey the spider; and a blue-feathered swallow named Sam. Bunny is caught by the night watchman, Jean-Claude, who agrees to let her continue visiting as long as she makes sure the other critters stay away from the art. Bunny, after expressing her displeasure toward her 10-year-old neighbor, Gaspard Laurent, about his mistreatment of his dog, Violette, invites the mistreated mutt along on her next Louvre visit. There, they discover two armed men stealing the Mona Lisa, and Bunny and the other animals pursue the criminals. While just as charming as previous installments in the series, this Bunny book deals with markedly heavier themes, as when Gaspard explains his mistreatment of Violette by confessing that his father treats him the same way. The appearance of rifles and pistols when the robbers and police come on the scene also takes this entry beyond innocuous fun, as do discussions among the characters about bullying (via references to The Hunchback of Notre Dame) that help to reiterate Bunny’s resolve to “always treat others the way I’d like to be treated.” The author also manages to work in some factual Paris history, such as the building of the Notre Dame cathedral, while staying focused on the book’s positive message.
Bunny’s newest adventure continues to inspire readers to treat others with kindness and respect.
Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2022
Page count: 74pp
Publisher: Hello Bunny LLC
Review Posted Online: April 13, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023
This second installment of a children’s book series follows a compassionate feline to downtown London.
Bunny Simmons-Bloom, a 2-year-old tuxedo cat who lives “a life of international adventure,” is back again—this time in London. Bunny wants to cheer up 10-year-old Lily Hayward, her blond next-door neighbor who gets bullied at school for being “nerdy.” The feline tells readers: “Nothing upsets me more than young humans or animals being mistreated.” As Bunny contemplates how to help her friend, she mentions to Lily that the city is planning a giant fox cull since the animals have been making giant messes and threatening kids and small animals. Horrified by the idea, Lily and Bunny (alongside the girl’s rambunctious golden retriever puppy, Goldy) embark on a quest to warn the foxes and try to work out a solution. They soon run into Freddy Fox, who shows the group just how hard his life can be while trying to scrounge for food and avoid getting hit by cars. He eventually brings them to Chieftess Fox—a haughty leader amusingly illustrated with a jaunty eye patch and plenty of attitude—whose mistrust of humans makes sense once she explains that people have been hunting foxes and encroaching on their natural habitat for years. As Bunny, Lily, and the Chieftess discuss the need to work together, Lily comes up with a brilliant solution that may just save the foxes—and make her a hero in her community. While Bloom’s overly simplistic dialogue may make this a less-than-exciting tale for parents, elementary-age readers will be delighted that they can peruse it on their own. The story brims with worthy lessons about responsibility, altruism, and respect for animals, providing a perfect platform for discussions about these important topics between kids and adults. The sequel also proves to be an entertaining tale that showcases Mayell’s clever and creative illustrations of an endearing feline in a colorful animal world.
This romp’s adventures—and lessons in kindness—make a cat an adorable role model.
Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2022
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Hello Bunny LLC
Review Posted Online: March 2, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023
An illustrated children’s tale of one cat’s adventure in the big city and the lessons she learned along the way.
Bunny, a feline, lives a charmed life in a posh Manhattan apartment alongside her owners—a nice couple who adopted her from the local animal shelter. Bunny soon makes friends with Mike the Mouse, who decides to make the hole that he’s nibbled in a closet wall big enough for Bunny to slip through—and their adventures begin. But soon Bunny sees a photo caption in a copy of the New York Times that really disturbs her: “Central Park carriage horse ‘Joe,’ one of several allegedly mistreated by its driver.” Bunny doesn’t know what alleged means, but the rest of the sentence is clear enough, so she decides to help Joe escape his situation. With the help of Mike the Mouse, Polly the Pigeon, and various other friends she meets along the way, Bunny finally gets to Central Park to make her daring rescue. Over the course of Bloom’s book, Bunny embodies the idea that small creatures can do great things; for example, when Joe the Carriage Horse expresses disbelief that Bunny can help him, the plucky cat reminds him that she’s “a tiny thing who’s very determined.” Young readers will likely find that determination to be contagious, and it may appeal to even the tiniest animal lovers. The book’s simple prose and Mayell’s eye-catching ink-and-watercolor illustrations make the most out of a minimalist color palette; Bunny’s dark black fur and bright green eyes are prominent as the most richly drawn images in every blue-tinged picture.
A charming and simply told story with a clear message.
Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2023
Page count: 74pp
Publisher: Positivity Publishing LLC
Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023
HELLO, MY NAME IS BUNNY! LONDON: LONDON: New York City Big Book Award Gold Winner, 2019
HELLO, MY NAME IS BUNNY! PARIS: PARIS: Nautilus Book Awards Gold Winner, 2023
HELLO, MY NAME IS BUNNY! LONDON: LONDON: Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Gold Winner, 2019
HELLO, MY NAME IS BUNNY! NEW YORK CITY: NEW YORK CITY: New York City Big Book Award Gold Winner, 2018
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