Manning, Mick 1959-

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Manning, Mick 1959-


Born September 17, 1959, in Haworth, West Yorkshire, England; son of Charles Desmond (a headmaster) and Edith Muriel Manning; married (marriage ended); married Brita Granström (an illustrator), 1996; children: (first marriage) Charlotte; (second marriage) Max, Björn, Frej, Charlie. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Attended Bradford College of Art, 1978; Newcastle Polytechnic, B.A. (with honors), 1982; Royal College of Art, M.A., 1987. Hobbies and other interests: Natural history, archaeology, history, walking, fishing.


E-mail—[email protected]


Artist and illustrator. University of Northumbria, Newcastle, England, associate lecturer in illustration, 1989-91; Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland, head of B.A. honors program in illustration, 1991-97; Dublin College of Arts and Technology, external moderator, 1996-99; Royal College of Art, external moderator of natural-history illustration, 1999-2002.


Authors Society.

Awards, Honors

Smarties Silver Award, 1996, for The World's Full of Babies!; Times Educational Supplement Award in non-fiction category, 1997, for What's under the Bed?; Rhone Poulenc Science Prize nomination, 1998, for Yum Yum! and How Did I Begin?, and 1999, for Science School; English Awards winner, 2000, for Wash, Scrub, Brush!; Key Stage 1 Nonfiction Award, English Association, 2000, for Wash, Scrub, Brush!, and 2005, for Voices of the Rainforest; Blue Peter Award shortlist, 2005, for What's My Family Tree?; Key Stage 2 Award shortlist, English Association, 2005, for Fly on the Wall: Roman Fort; Highland Book Award shortlist (Scotland), 2006, for Yuck!



The World Is Full of Babies!, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1996.

Art School, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1996.

What's Up?, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1997.

How Did I Begin?, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1997.

Rainy Day, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1997.

Snowy Day, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1997.

Sunny Day, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1997.

Windy Day, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1997.

Science School, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1998.

Collect-o-Mania, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1998, published as Make Your Own Museum, 2003.

Drama School, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1999.

Let's Build a House!, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1999.

Let's Party!, Big Fish (London, England), 2000.

Wheels Keep Turning, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2000.

How Should I Behave?, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2002.

The Power Cut, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2002.

Watch Out! Builders About!, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2002.


Nature Watch, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1997.

Honk! Honk! A Story of Migration, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1997.

Yum-Yum!, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1997.

My Body, Your Body, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1997.

Splish, Splash, Splosh!, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1997.

What's under the Bed?, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1997.

Nature School, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1997.

Out There Somewhere, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1998.

What If? A Book about Recycling, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1998.

Wild and Free, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1998.

Sael Ungen, Raben & Sjögren (Stockholm, Sweden), 1998.

Super School, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1999.

Super Mum, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1999, published as Supermom, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 2001.

Wash, Scrub, and Brush!, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1999, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 2001.

Stone Age, Bone Age, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2000.

What a Viking!, Raben & Sjögren (New York, NY), 2000.

Dinomania: Things to Do with Dinosaurs, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2001, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2002.

The Story of a Storm, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2001.

High Tide, Low Tide, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2001.

Seasons Turning, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2001.

When the Sun Goes Down, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2001.

How Will I Grow?, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2002.

What's My Family Tree?, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2004.

Voices of the Rainforest, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2004.

Seaside Scientist, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2004.

Fly on the Wall: Roman Fort, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 2004.

Fly on the Wall: Pharaoh's Egypt, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 2005.

Yuck!, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 2005.

Fly on the Wall: Viking Longship, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 2006.

Snap!, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 2006.

Dino Dinners!, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2006.

Cock-a-doodle-hoooooo!, Good Books (Intercourse, PA), 2007.


(Self-illustrated) A Ruined House, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1994.

(Illustrator) Karen Wallace, Think of a Beaver, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Collaborator, with Granström, on "Max and Kate" series for Ladybug magazine, beginning 1999.

Manning's books have been translated into Welsh, Danish, Dutch, Faroëse, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Swedish, Spanish, and Brazilian.


Descended from early nineteenth-century artist and printmaker Boniface Muss, Mick Manning is a prolific author and illustrator of picture books for children, many of which are created jointly with Manning's wife, artist Brita Granström. Manning, who was born and raised in England, began his career as a freelance illustrator in 1982 and published his first book, A Ruined House, in 1994. Two years later, he and Granström teamed up for The World Is Full of Babies!, their first collaborative effort. Discussing their approach to writing in an online interview with Pam Kelt, the pair explained: "We try to stay flexible. The book's voice and subject tend to shape our approach." The couple's drawing process also involves a combined effort; as Manning told Ted Percy in Books for Keeps, "Brita does the people, I do the animals; I do the words, Brita hand-letters them. So we are the text, the pictures, and the initial design; we discuss everything until it feels right."

Working in collaboration, Manning and Granström have published a number of award-winning nonfiction picture books. In The World Is Full of Babies! which garnered the 1996 Silver Smarties Award, the author/illustrator team describes the various ways baby animals grow and develop. The work holds an "enticement for preschoolers, who can't seem to get enough information about tiny animals," according to a critic in Publishers Weekly. In Wash, Scrub, Brush! "the authors skillfully cover basic grooming and hygiene within a story framework," remarked School Library Journal contributor Marilyn Ackerman. In this book, a group of children get ready for a party, and are shown cleaning their nails, washing their hair, and brushing their teeth. Connie Fletcher, reviewing Wash, Scrub, Brush! for Booklist, praised the artwork, noting that "the illustrations, crowded with happy kids sprucing up, are bright and lively."

The many ways humans and animals provide food, protection, and love to their young is the focus of Supermom: snakes, cats, whales, and monkeys are among the animals featured. "The watercolor, graphite, and crayon artwork reflects the light approach to scientific facts," noted School Library Journal reviewer Carolyn Janssen in a review of the book. Dinomania: Things to Do with Dinosaurs offers instructions for constructing papier-maché dinosaur eggs, creating a diorama of a dinosaur park, and fashioning dinosaur sock puppets. "Here's a book with a kid-friendly text, expressive and colorful illustrations, and creative activities and crafts," wrote Augusta R. Malvagno in School Library Journal.

Based on "The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly," Snap! "follows a cumulative, action-filled, food chain of events," according to a critic in Kirkus Reviews. After a buzzing fly is gobbled by a frog, a host of other creatures—including a duckling, a pike, and a bear—take the opportunity to feast. "The comical conclusion is perfect for the younger set," observed Andrea Tarr in School Library Journal. A Publishers Weekly reviewer complimented Manning and Granström's illustration, stating that "the bold colors and a thick, exuberant ink line give their pictures a spontaneous quality and energy." Yuck! depicts slimy and disgusting meals devoured by various animal babies. In the words of a Kirkus Reviews contributor, "rare is the toddler who won't chime in delightedly on the delicious exclamatory chorus."

Manning and Granström explore ancient history in Fly on the Wall: Roman Fort and Fly on the Wall: Pharaoh's Egypt, while moving a step toward the modern age in series installment Fly on the Wall: Viking Longship. Reviewing Roman Fort, Denver Post contributor Claire Martin remarked that "the authors' approach is heavy on artwork and studded with palatable bits of information intriguing enough to prompt readers to do further research." In Pharaoh's Egypt, the pair explores such topics as Egyptian temples, gods, and mummy makers. According to School Library Journal critic Coop Renner, "Manning keeps the text brief, basic, and entertaining while allowing full play to Granström's artistic embodiments of the subject at hand." Discussing Viking Longship in Junior Education, Kevin Crossley Holland wrote that the couple's "disarming illustrations are strong, witty and tender."

Asked how he finds the ideas for his books, Manning told Kelt that he and Granström "get subconscious inspiration from all around us, past, present and future, and as these ideas mature they tend to ‘pop up’ at unexpected times." He added, "We don't enjoy nonfiction that treats children like little grown ups or on the other hand extremely patronises them. We try to celebrate childhood in our books—new unfolding senses of discovery, adventure and wonder!"

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, March 15, 2001, Ellen Mandel, review of Supermom, p. 1404; May 1, 2001, Connie Fletcher, review of Wash, Scrub,!, p. 1686; June 1, 2002, Ellen Mandel, review of Dinomania: Things to Do with Dinosaurs, p. 1717.

Books for Keeps, July, 2005, Ted Percy, "Mick Manning and Brita Granström."

Calliope, November, 2005, review of Fly on the Wall: A Roman Fort, p. 45.

Canadian Review of Materials, January 19, 2001, review of How Did I Begin?

Denver Post, Claire Martin, "Children's Fort a Peek at Old Rome," p. F10.

Guardian (London, England), July 1, 2006, Julia Eccleshare, review of Snap!, p. 20.

Junior Education, November, 2006, Kevin Crossley Holland, review of Fly on the Wall: Viking Longship.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2005, review of Yuck!, p. 686; January 15, 2006, review of Fly on the Wall: Pharaoh's Egypt, p. 87; October 15, 2006, review of Snap!, p. 1074.

Publishers Weekly, September 2, 1996, review of Art School, p. 133; November 4, 1996, review of The World Is Full of Babies!, p. 74; March 31, 1997, review of Nature Watch, p. 77; October 30, 2006, review of Snap!, p. 60.

School Librarian, winter, 2004, Don Brothwell, review of Fly on the Wall: Roman Fort, p. 209.

School Library Journal, October, 1996, Patricia Pearl Dole, review of The World Is Full of Babies!, p. 115; December, 1996, Paula A. Kiely, review of Art School, p. 116; November, 1997, John Peters, review of Honk! Honk!: A Story of Migration, p. 93; April, 1998, Yapha Nussbaum Mason, review of Splish, Splash, Splosh!: A Book about Water, p. 120; June, 1998, Elaine Lesh Morgan, review of My Body, Your Body, p. 132; March, 1999, Jennifer Oyama, review of Science School, p. 198; September, 1999, Chris Reidel, review of Drama School, p. 214; April, 2001, Marilyn Ackerman, review of Wash, Scrub, Brush!, p. 133, and Carolyn Janssen, review of Supermom, p. 133; April, 2002, Jean Pollock, review of Let's Party!: Celebrate with Children All around the World!, p. 137, and Augusta R. Malvagno, review of Dinomania, p. 137; July, 2005, Lynda S. Poling, review of Fly on the Wall: Roman Fort, p. 91; April, 2006, Coop Renner, review of Fly on the Wall: Pharaoh's Egypt, p. 130; November, 2006, Andrea Tarr, review of Snap!, p. 105.

Times Educational Supplement, March 7, 1997, review of What's under the Bed?, p. 7.


Mick Manning and Brita Granström Home Page, (January 10, 2007).

Walker Books Web site, (January 10, 2007), "Mick Manning."

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