Manson’s Complete Works

Books Illustrated by Christopher Manson:

The Norman Table: The Traditional Cooking of Normandy (June 1985)

A cookbook of traditional Norman fare.

[Amazon's Norman Table page]


A Farmyard Song (July 1992)

A traditional rhyme retold.

[Amazon's Farmyard Song page]


The Tree In The Wood: An Old Nursery Song (July 1994)

A traditional children’s song retold.

[Amazon's Tree in the Woods page]


Over The River And Through The Wood (August 1998)

The traditional song retold.

[Amazon's Over The River And Through The Wood page]


Good King Wenceslas (1999)

The traditional carol retold.

[Amazon's Good King Wenceslas page]


Uncle Sam & Old Glory: Symbols of America (February 2000)

The stories behind the symbols of America.

[Amazon's Uncle Sam & Old Glory page]


Black Swan/WhiteCrow (August 2007)

Haiku poetry with illustrations.

[Amazon's Black Swan/WhiteCrow page]


Till Year’s Good End (June 2009)

A adaptation of the medieval “Book of Hours.”

[Amazon's Till Year's Good End page]


Books Authored and Illustrated by Christopher Manson:

MAZE: Solve the World’s Most Challenging Puzzle (November 1985) Review

This is not one of those pencil mazes you worked on as a kid. The entire book is one addictive maze. Each page spread is a room leading to other page/rooms. Your goal is to find the shortest route to the center and back while solving the puzzle in the center room–if you can figure out what the puzzle is. But then, each room is a puzzle filled with clues to decipher. Read the text and examine the gorgeous illustrations carefully. Beware–not every clue can be trusted. If you’re an online gamer, consider this a Web site you can carry wherever you go.
[Amazon's MAZE page]
The Rails I Tote: Forty-Five Illustrated Spoonerisms to Decipher (February 1987)


“Like “Maze”, these puzzles aren’t all as easy as they sound. I don’t give up easily when it comes to brain teasers, but some of these ones really stumped me. Fortunately the book’s last page shows all 45 of the answers. The answers are encoded by letter where 1 is for A, 2 is for B, 3 is for C, etc., so that you don’t accidentally glance at an answer you didn’t want to know yet. I hope this book goes back into print, because it’s another example of Manson combining his brainteasers, wild art work, and bizarre stories into one clever little book.”

[Amazon's Rails I Tote page]


The Practical Alchemist: Showing The Way An Ordinary House-Cat May Be Transformed Into True Gold (January 1988)

[Amazon's Practical Alchemist page]


A Gift For The King: A Persian Tale (March 1989)

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3– This retelling of a 2,000-year-old Persian folk tale has the straightforward clarity of one of Aesop’s fables. When incredibly wealthy King Artaxerxes takes a walk into the desert, his subjects strew his way with luxuries. But the only gift that gives him pleasure is a cool drink of water when he is thirsty. In the course of illustrating this wholesome message, Manson gives his readers page after page of lavish animated scenes, apparently derived from ancient Persian wall carvings, which depict in glorious detail the tempting self-indulgence of the king’s life before he stumbles into the moral. While there is neither the archeological thoroughness nor the artistic integration of text and illustrations which is found in the earlier retelling of mid-Eastern legend in Bernarda Bryson’s Gilgamesh (Holt, 1967; o.p.), Manson’s work is for younger readers and does a lively job of giving a sense of ancient times. The text has a pleasant rhythm which begs to be read aloud. As in Linda Shute’s Momotaro the Peach Boy (Lothrop, 1986), this story is enhanced by a small source section at the end which gives more detail of life at that place and time. A simple story, well told and satisfying. –Sally T. Margolis, formerly at The Newport Schools, Kensington, MD Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

[Amazon's Gift For The King page]


Two Travelers (1990)


“Isaac, an emissary for Charlemange, is sent to Baghdad to bring tidings of peace to the Caliph. The Caliph accepts with the return offering of Abulabaz the elephant. Isaac must now find his way back to France–with the elephant. Together the two travelers manage to finish their journey and become fast friends in the process. Manson relies on a delicate, conspiratorial voice to convey the thoughts and apprehnsions of both Isaac and Abulabaz, allowing the reader to gain insight into both beings’ perspectives. His bright colored pencil and watercolor illustrations add clever details to the text, such as Isaac and Abulabaz peering at each other out of the corners of their eyes upon their first meeting. Manson also incorporates important cultural details by accurately representing cultures, clothing, and settings. The combination of voice and artwork makes Two Travelers an approachable, friendly book appropriate for young children.”

[Amazon's Two Travelers page]


The Crab Prince: An Entertainment For Children (August 1991)

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3– A retelling of an Italian folktale. Through love and enterprise, an independent and courageous country girl named Rosella turns an enchanted giant crab into his rightful self, Prince Florian. Deception, ingenuity, and tenacity are Rosella’s skills for tricking the enchantress, an ugly old woman called a ghula. The drawings show the influences both of theatrical exaggeration and comic-strip simplicity. The unusual layout is similar to that of the author’s A Gift for the King (Holt, 1989), in which the illustrations take two-thirds of the spread with the text appearing in the remaining space. Children will enjoy the self-reliant heroine and the obvious parallels to “The Frog Prince.” –Anna Biagioni Hart, Martha Washington Library, Alexandria, VA Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

[Amazon's Crab Prince page]


The Marvellous Blue Mouse (May 1992)

Amazon Customer Review

“Children seem to love stories of foolish adults, and this book provides just that. A nice 20 minute bedtime story with a satisfying ending. The overall message is that greed and selfishness does not pay.”

[Amazon's Marvellous Blue Mouse page]


- Image Copyright 1989 by Christopher Manson