The Most Amazing Thing

Ian Hayward Robinson, illustrated by Matt Shanks

A story about wonder and hope that explores the meaning of life in ways that we can all understand.

‘What is the most amazing thing? asks Henry.
‘Life,’ says his sister.
‘The mind,’ says his brother.
‘The universe,’ says his father.
Henry can see these things are amazing, but are they the MOST amazing thing?

Philosopher and primary school teacher Ian Hayward Robinson teams up with the bestselling illustrator of Rosie the Rhinoceros, Matt Shanks, to show young readers that while the world is full of wonders, the search for meaning is an individual quest.

Picture Book

Ian Hayward Robinson & Matt Shanks

Ian Hayward Robinson is a former head of Professional Writing and Editing at Chisholm Institute where he taught for 14 years. He has run courses on Story Structure and conducted workshops at many writing conferences across Australia, including for the Storytellers Guild, the Romance Writers of Australia and Writers Victoria. He is a trained primary school teacher who worked for many years in curriculum development and teacher development for the Victorian Department of Education, and has written over two dozen mathematics textbooks for primary schools. He has had two full-length plays performed at La Mama in Melbourne and won several one-act-play awards. The Most Amazing Thing is his first picture book. Ian was a tutor in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne and taught Philosophy of Education at Coburg Teachers College. He is President Emeritus of the Rationalist Society of Australia. Ian lives on Phillip Island in south-east Victoria within walking distance of the sea.

Matt Shanks‘s early fascination for the combination of words and pictures saw him complete a Bachelor of Design at the University of Sydney in 2003. It took him 10 years though, while working as a Creative Director at some of Melbourne’s best design agencies, to realise that this ‘watercolour hobby’ of his needed to be shared with more than just his wife and cat. Matt has now illustrated several picture books and lives in Melbourne.

Allen & Unwin

Allen & Unwin is Australia’s leading independent publisher and is the 2020 Publisher of the Year, a title we’ve now held fourteen times. Our lists are unrivalled in scope and quality, our focus on original ideas and voices, and our acclaimed authors and titles amongst Australia’s best.