Books by John Manders

PRANCING DANCING LILY by Marsha Diane Arnold
IPAD BOOK APPS
Released: Jan. 15, 2013

"Keep plugging, follow your muse, find your right fit in the world. Fine sentiments, though they might need a little more nerve than Lily is willing to give. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)"
Arnold's story app of a cow trying to find her calling is minimalist in every way, except some handsome artwork from Manders. Read full book review >
COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Rob Sanders
Released: Sept. 11, 2012

"Young buckeroos who like their Christmas stories punchy rather than sweet might just take a likin' to ol' Dwight, Darryl and Dub. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Three lonesome cowboys stuck out on the range face a "low-down and miserable" Christmas without the usual treats and trimmings until a surprise visit from "Santy Claus" brightens their holiday. Read full book review >
LET'S HAVE A TREE PARTY! by David Martin
Released: March 13, 2012

"Not to be a party pooper, but this bash requires too much extra work from the reader to make it a success. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Grandpa Crow is having a party, and the whole forest is invited, throughout the day and night. Read full book review >
JACK AND THE GIANT BARBECUE by Eric A. Kimmel
Released: March 1, 2012

"Good fractured fun. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A Wild West spin on the classic fairy tale. Read full book review >
THE REALLY AWFUL MUSICIANS by John Manders
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 20, 2011

"Undeniably a lesson, it is delivered with a sense of fun; a helpful author's note describes each instrument. (Picture book. 3-6) "
When all the bands in the kingdom sound horrible, the king takes drastic action. Read full book review >
PIRATES GO TO SCHOOL by Corinne Demas
ADVENTURE
Released: July 1, 2011

"Don't be hornswoggled—give this the heave-ho and seek pirate (and school) booty elsewhere. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Demas' latest throws together adult pirates and regular kids at school, but the combination doesn't really mesh, making it unsuccessful either at familiarizing kids with school or providing swashbuckling entertainment. Read full book review >
THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS by Phyllis McGinley
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"Nick shtick, this nostalgia trip may be a bit ho-ho-hum, but read aloud with enough energy it may hit the spot. (Picture book. 4-7)"
McGinley's 1956 text returns with a huge trim and new, robust illustrations. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2010

"Pleasant but, perhaps, ultimately inconsequential. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Nethery includes both fact and fancy in her account of a stray cat's elevation to celebrity status in 1890s Venice. Read full book review >
HENRY AND THE CRAZED CHICKEN PIRATES by Carolyn Crimi
ADVENTURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

"Fans of Giles Andreae's Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, illustrated by Russell Ayto (2005), and its piratical ilk will yo-ho-ho. (Picture book. 6-8)"
The bookish young hero of Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies (2005) again saves the flop-eared, fun-loving crew of the pirate ship Salty Carrot. Read full book review >
TWO BAD PILGRIMS by Kathryn Lasky
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

Standish Brewster, professor of Pilgrimology, attempts diligently to tell the tale of the establishment of Plimoth Plantation while the two bad Pilgrims of the title, acknowledged troublemakers (they nearly blew up the Mayflower) John and Francis Billington, kibbitz with energy: "When we do it, they call it stealing. Read full book review >
NATURE
Released: March 1, 2009

"It comes with an extensive bibliography; sadly, neither 1984 nor Feed made the cut. (Informational picture book. 7-10)"
This peek into the future comes to read more like a cautionary tale than a revel in the phantasmagoria down the road. Read full book review >
PETE’S DISAPPEARING ACT by Jenny Tripp
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"Lightweight fun. (Fantasy. 9-11)"
In a reverse Wizard of Oz effect, a twister takes circus pooch Pierre Le Chien to Kansas in this amusing sequel to Pete and Fremont (2007). Read full book review >
WHERE'S MY MUMMY? by Carolyn Crimi
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: July 1, 2008

"Manders's appealingly round mummy child and the text's rhythmic 'clank clink clanks' will find happy audiences. (Picture book. 3-6)"
"Just one more game of Hide and Shriek?" begs Little Baby Mummy of his Big Mama Mummy. Read full book review >
PETER SPIT A SEED AT SUE by Jackie French Koller
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2008

"Light as a pie and sweet as melon, this slight story should find an enthusiastic audience with parents and grandparents nostalgic for a simpler, sillier time, who will enjoy sharing the fun with young listeners. (Picture book. 3-6)"
This slapstick farce bounces along in rollicking rhyme accompanied by exaggerated cartoon-style illustrations featuring round-cheeked, wide-eyed characters sporting skinny extremities and outsized feet. Read full book review >
SUCH A PRINCE by Dan Bar-el
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 15, 2007

"Trust me. (Picture book/fairy tale. 6-9)"
Bar-el adds plenty of shtick to his retelling of a folk tale sometimes called "Three Perfect Peaches." Read full book review >
PETE AND FREMONT by Jenny Tripp
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2007

"A heartwarming tale of interspecies bonding; you can almost hear the soundtrack. (Fantasy. 9-11)"
Screenwriter Tripp's Disney-esque debut pairs an aging circus poodle and a huge, unhappy bear. Read full book review >
THE PERFECT NEST by Catherine Friend
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2007

"Perfect fine-feathered fun. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Jack the cat is building the perfect nest, bound to attract the perfect chicken that will lay the perfect egg to make the perfect omelet. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 28, 2006

"EWSLUGp1999, illustrated by Cat Bowman Smith. (source list) (Nonfiction. 8-10)"
Lauber follows up What You Never Knew About Tubs, Toilets, & Showers (2001) with another quick tour through domestic history, taking readers from prehistoric times to campouts and sleepovers, with pauses for glimpses at "Great Moments in Nightclothes" and a recapitulative "Great Moments in Bed History." Read full book review >
FERGUS AND THE NIGHT-DEMON by Jim Murphy
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 18, 2006

"A lengthy author's note explains how he blended elements of Irish folklore to craft this spooky yarn. (Folktale. 5-9)"
Murphy turns his honed nonfiction hand to spinning folklore. Read full book review >
THE SOLDIERS’ NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Trish Holland
FICTION
Released: Sept. 12, 2006

"This will be popular with children who like brash superheroes, as well as with families and friends of those serving in the military. (Picture book. 5+)"
Using the familiar structure of the classic Christmas poem, Holland and Ford offer a witty parody that serves up a unique vision of a Santa who is very different from the traditional St. Read full book review >
HENRY & THE BUCCANEER BUNNIES by Carolyn Crimi
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"A worthy message, even though it's delivered with hull-smashing force, and less convincingly than in Judy Sierra's Wild About Books (2004), illustrated by Marc Brown. (Picture books. 6-8)"
In this unsubtle plug for bookworms everywhere, the nerdy offspring of feared pirate Barnacle Black Ear looks up from his compulsive reading to see a bad storm coming, rescues his dad and the rest of the Salty Carrot's crew, then once ashore, quickly fashions a luxurious hut, fancy new outfits, delicious meals and other comforts from found materials—all using knowledge gained from tomes with titles like 101 Things To Do With Palm Fronds and Coconuts. Read full book review >
MINNIE’S DINER by Dayle Ann Dodds
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

"The result is a lively alternative to the similarly themed likes of Stuart Murphy's Double the Ducks (2002), illustrated by Valerie Petrone, or Carol Losi's 512 Ants on Sullivan Street (1997), illustrated by Patrick Merrell. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Hopping onto the math-concepts bandwagon, Dodds ties the idea of "doubling" to a slender storyline. Read full book review >
PRANCING, DANCING LILY by Marsha Diane Arnold
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2004

"High-stepping fare for fans of Karma Wilson's Hilda Must Be Dancing (p. 13), Robert Kinerk's Clorinda (2003), and the rest. (Picture book. 7-9)"
A new addition to the recent stampede of dancing livestock, twinkle-hooved Lily leaves her slower-mooooving fieldmates to travel the world in search of a Place. Read full book review >
SEÑOR DON GATO by John Manders
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"Song notes are included. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Love can hurt real bad. Read full book review >
CLARENCE THE COPY CAT by Patricia Lakin
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 8, 2002

"Librarians take note: Young customers—those in branches with or without mice—will find much to smile about here, and Manders's goofy, cartoony illustrations are filled with energy and child appeal. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A mouse-loving, pacifist cat? Read full book review >
QUIET NIGHT by Marilyn Singer
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: April 22, 2002

"Great fun for reading and laughing out loud, or even for a choral recitation. (Picture book. 3-5)"
What starts out as a quiet night with only one frog bar-rumming soon turns into a raucous cacophony as two owls, three geese, four fish, and a host of other creatures yowl, scratch, and honk. Read full book review >
HEALTH
Released: June 1, 2001

"This follow-up to What You Never Knew About Fingers, Forks, and Chopsticks (1999) invites repeated dips. (Nonfiction. 7-9)"
With Manders's cartoon illustrations adding detail and lighthearted commentary, Lauber revisits sanitary facilities down the ages, as well as common attitudes toward them. Read full book review >