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Praise for Kitchen Dance

International Latino Book Award Honorable Mention
Américas Award Commended Title


★“‘Scrape! Splash! Clunk! Clang!...I hear kitchen sounds,’” says the curly-headed narrator as she and little brother Tito wake up to the sounds of their parents’ kitchen dance. Creeping downstairs, they see mother and father as ‘[s]ide by side with stacked plates they glide,’ turning the routine of washing-up into a loving and even rather sexy tango. When Mama spots the two children, she and Papa sweep them up into an affectionate foursome, all singing, ‘¡Cómo te quiero!’ Manning depicts this Afro-Latino family with verve, tilted angles and bright colors providing movement and warmth as tall, skinny Papa and slightly zaftig Mama strut their stuff. The full-bleed, double-page spreads radiate happiness in every line. It’s In the Night Kitchen decloaked; how salutary for children—protagonists and readers both—to see a set of parents loving each other with such abandon and enthusiasm. Their joyful inclusion of the kids makes this book read like one long, wonderful hug—as the narrator says, after being tucked back into bed with a couple extra besitos, ‘Umm, hmm.’” (Picture book. 3-7)
Kirkus Reviews

“This is Manning’s most exuberant work yet, a winning tribute to happy feet and happy families.”
Publishers Weekly

“Full of vitality, simple, and touching, this picture book presents a celebration of family through words and expressive, exuberant pictures.  Wonderful.”
School Library Journal


Praise for Laundry Day


★ “In a vivid, warmhearted picture book that unfolds in graphic novel–style panels, a shoeshine boy living in a 1900s immigrant neighborhood (think New York City’s Lower East Side) unexpectedly finds a bright red scarf. Determined to locate its owner, the boy embarks on a grand tour of the tenements, meeting Chinese, Polish, Italian, Ukrainian, Jamaican, and Yiddish-speaking inhabitants (a short glossary concludes the book), and earning a mooncake, pennies, and even a bowl of matzo ball soup for his efforts. (‘Such a good boy, to come all this way,’ says Rabbi Shulevitz’s wife.) Manning’s pages are exuberance itself as her hero balletically bounds from frame to frame, leaping onto fire escapes, scrambling up and shimmying down water pipes, and using clotheslines as a tightrope and zip line. Manning (Kitchen Dance) may be stretching history slightly to imagine so many different nationalities inhabiting this environment (the demographics could be more 21st-century than 20th), but what really matters is that at every stop, the shoeshine boy finds that the global village is a welcoming, benevolent place.
Publishers Weekly

★ “Manning’s expressive and detailed digital pencil, watercolor and pastel drawings depict an unnamed but unmistakable turn-of-the-20th-century New York City. Laundry whips in the wind, and busy people on every floor of the buildings are shown from multiple perspectives. Everything teems with movement and life—completely beguiling.”
Kirkus Reviews

“The marvelous freedom of [the boy’s] airy progress recalls Lamorisse’s Red Balloon, while the friendly, twentieth-century immigrant community makes a heartwarming vision of international good will.”
The Horn Book

“The book’s standout comic-panel illustrations and dabs of foreign dialogue will draw in older readers, while younger children will enjoy the quest; all will appreciate the ode to community.”
New York Times

“A child’s version of the graphic novel, Laundry Day is a visual masterpiece, vibrant and detailed. Pictures tell the bulk of the story, supported by occasional dialogue. The playful illustrations burst with motion and life and feature accurately rendered expressions on the faces of each of the unique characters. Small cues tie each panel together. By the end of the book, everyone, including the reader, is smiling from the pleasure of a successful adventure.”
San Francisco Book Review

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