Author: Sherrill S. Cannon
Year published: 2013
Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co.
Number of pages: 20
Recommended age: 3+
Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
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“I am strong, and my flash is bright, And I will defend you and make things all right.”
These are the magic words to call upon Manner-Man – a superhero who can help control bullies and teach children ways to be considerate of others. Manner-Man arrives, shouting “To the Rescue”, helping children learn about sharing and warning about not ‘hitting with words.’ He teaches that if someone starts pushing, just shout out “not nice!”
Meet the children who form the Manner-Man team and find out how to join! Manner-Man incorporates messages and characters found within some of Cannon’s earlier books – helping children learn how to cope with bullies and look within themselves for their inner superhero!
1. What is the book about? This book is about Manner-Man who teaches kids how to be nice to each other.
2. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book? I like the pictures and the cover of the book. I like how there are characters from other stories in the book like Jimmy and Elisabeth and how there are book covers from other stories too. It’s kind of unusual but good how there is a badge that you can cut out to join Manner-Man’s Team.
3. What is your favorite part of the book? I really liked how my name and my sister’s name is on the back cover of the book. I am a Manner-Man Team member. I also liked that in the back of the book there are things to look for in the book – it was fun to look for those.
4. What is your least favorite part of the book? I feel that this book is for little kids. I thought that the saying in the book about “I am strong…” is a bit silly but little kids would like it. I like reading books that are for older kids.
5. What did you learn from this book? This book teaches about how to stand up to bullies when someone is being mean to you or a friend. I learned that I should stand up for my friends who are being bullied. I already do that.
6. Who do you think would like this book? This book was alright and I think kids who are 7 and under would like it. I think kids who are being bullied and those who are bullies should read this book.
Son Rating: ★★★★☆
My Thoughts: Sherrill Cannon is becoming the go-to author for picture books teaching young children about good manners. In The Magic Word, we are introduced to Elisabeth who learns the importance of using “please”, “thank you”, and “excuse me”. In Gimme-Jimmy, the title character learns that there are consequences to being impolite and consequently develops “Jimmy’s New Polite Rule”. True to her winning formula teaching children to be polite and to have good manners, Sherrill Cannon brings back Jimmy (now called “James”) and Elisabeth who become part of the Manner-Man Team – a team dedicated to teaching children to be considerate to each other.
I love the message behind Manner-Man. Not only does it provide direction for what to do when someone is bullying you, but importantly, it goes a step further to teach children that they also have a responsibility to look out for their friends or anyone else who is being bullied – thus the “Manner-Man Team” approach.This is consistent with what we teach our children at home and reinforces what they learn about bullying at school as well. There really is truth in the adage that “there is strength in numbers” and this is the implicit message underlying this book.
Sherrill Cannon does a fantastic of depicting various types of bullying including pushing and shoving, hitting, hurting with words, butting into line, and taking personal belongings without permission, for example. I think it’s important for young children in particular to be presented with examples of bullying so that they understand that it takes many forms. I think both young children who engage in bullying behaviour as well as those who have been bullied could recognize themselves in this book. For kids that bully, it’s important that they understand the impact their behaviour has on their victim and this is well-depicted in the book Manner-Man.
The illustrations in the book are super kid-friendly. Cannon provided a special treat by including both characters from past books as well as a special little girl – Addie, a beautiful little girl (image on the right) who is fighting a debilitating disease called JDM (juvenile dermatomyositis). Sherrill Cannon has been a champion for this cause. She has started a fundraising website and is donating 50% of the book price to the CureJM Foundation to help find a cure for this debilitating disease. Please visit http://sbpra.com/curejm/ for more information.
There are a few add-ons in the back of the book worthy of mentioning. As pointed out by my son above, there is a list of Team Members which include the Team Captain, Addie, as well as my two children! They were THRILLED to see their name in print in a book knowing that it was THEM being referred to. Thank you Sherrill! Also, there are a few activities such spotting the children from the other books, finding the red M on Manner-Man, and of course the Manner-Man Badge that can be cut out. These were all nice additions to the book.
As mentioned in my previous reviews of rhyming books, I am always slightly in awe of authors who can create a book’s worth of rhyming verse, so I try not to be so critical about the rhyming. Overall, Cannon does an outstanding job of laying out the story in rhyme, but there are a few rhyming lines that, I must admit, didn’t quite work for me.
I put up my hand, from the tips came a flash,
And Manner-Man came, just as if I had asked.
Ok, that’s a bit of an anomaly in what I truly feel is, overall, brilliant rhyming!
My bottom line: I love the message in the book; the story is great; I love how past characters are brought into this book; and the illustrations are bright and fun. It’s another winner by Sherrill Cannon! I would recommend this book to families with children aged 3+. I can also see this book being read to a preschool and kindergarten classroom as part of the curriculum teaching about bullying.
Mom Rating: ★★★★½
* Manner-Man was provided to us by the author free-of-charge in exchange for our honest review.*
About the Author:
Former teacher Sherrill S. Cannon has won a dozen awards for her four previous rhyming books and is also the author of six published and internationally performed plays for elementary school children. She has been called a modern day Dr. Seuss” by GMTA Review.
Sherrill and her husband of 52 years are now retired, and they travel in their RV from the east coast to the west coast each year to spend time with their children and grandchildren… sharing their books along the way!