Manny Loses His Fangs
Written by author and Illustrated by Giuliano Ferri
Mine Edition September 2019
32 Pages Ages 4—8
Genre: Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes: Friendships, Coping with Changes
Manny loves scaring all the other animals. That’s the best thing about being a vampire bat. With enough practice, he hopes to become the scariest vampire bat in the whole world.
But then his world is rocked when his baby fangs fall out, and no one thinks he’s all that scary anymore. How will Manny handle the unexpected turn of events? And once his adult fangs start to grow in, will he still be the same bat he was before?
This is a lighthearted look at what happens when things don’t go the way we plan, and how friendship can spring up in the most unexpected ways. Delightfully illustrated by internationally-renowned illustrator Giuliano Ferri, Manny is a vampire bat we can all identify with. (from jacket flap)
“Manny the vampire bat was the terror of everyone he met.”
Why I like this book
Manny, the young vampire bat, loves to show his fangs and scare the other animals. His goal is to become the world’s scariest vampire bat and that takes practice. Then one day, Manny bites into an apple and his fangs stick into the fruit. No longer able to scare anyone, Manny hides in his cave feeling hopeless. “His scaring days were over, he thought, and he was never going to leave this cave again!”
Asleep, (hanging upside down, as bats do), a ball flies into the cave and whacks him. “Annoyed, Manny gave the ball a tremendous kick . . .” and hears applause. A team (animals about his age), impressed by Manny’s kick, invite him to join the team. Manny is once again his happy self, until . . . his adult fangs grow in. He is once again a scary vampire bat. Manny returns to “hanging out” in his cave, not wanting to scare his new friends.
A commotion draws his attention to bullies—huge pigs—taunting his friends and refusing to give their ball back. Manny becomes the fiercest, screech-iest, scariest vampire bat any bully has ever seen. Then he leaves (not wanting to scare his friends), but he doesn’t get far . . . his teammates hug him.
Ferri’s illustrations are beautiful. Manny’s cave looks icy-cold in blue tones. Stalactites and stalagmites grow in shades of grey. Out of the cave, the world is bright blue, slightly cloudy skies and green grass perfect for kicking a ball around. Manny, despite his practicing, is not scary—he’s rather adorable. Take away the fangs and wings and you have a kid horsing around with his friends.
Young children will like Manny Loses His Fangs. Many will relate to him and his bullied friends. But the story is not so much about bullying as it is about friendship, acceptance (of self, others, and change), and being yourself.
Manny is surprised his friends still want to let him play ball after he scares away two huge bullies with his newly developed adult fangs.
“Just because you’re scary to others doesn’t mean you’re scary to us. Friends are friends no matter how they look.” [said the tiny mouse]
Illustrations: Rendered in watercolors
Interesting Side Note: Some titles change with the region. I have always known this but never looked into it. Today, out of curiosity, I looked. Manny Loses His Fangs becomes:
In Germany: The Small Vampire Loses His Teeth
In France: Igor, the Little Vampire, Lost His Teeth
The creator, author and illustrator Giuliano Ferri, is Italian, yet I couldn’t find an Italian title. Yet.
Available at Amazon
Manny Loses His Fangs. Text Copyright © 2019 by Giuliano Ferri. Published by Mine Edition / Michael Neugebauer Publishing Ltd. Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Copyright © 2019 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved