Manuelo, The Playing Mantis

By Don Freeman; Lisa McCue (Illustrator)
(Viking Juvenile, Hardcover, 9780670036844, 32pp.)

Publication Date: March 8, 2004

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.



When Don Freeman died in 1978, he left behind illustrations and a finished manuscript for a story that was close to his heart. Freeman himself was a professional trumpeter and he was working on the story of a creature who loved music--but couldn't make any himself.

Manuelo is a praying mantis who spends summer evenings listening raptly to outdoor concerts. How he longs to join in! But though he tries to make a flute from a cattail, a horn from a trumpet flower, and a harp from twigs, nothing seems to work. But then Manuelo makes a friend who shows him how to create a cello . . . and in doing so opens the door to Manuelo's heart's desire.

About the Author

Don Freeman was the author and illustrator of many popular books for children, including Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, and the Caldecott Honor Book Fly High, Fly Low. For more information about Don Freeman, please visit

Indie Bookstore Finder

Indie Bestsellers

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer
Benjamin Dehaven
Lagniappe Publishing
Jeff VanderMeer
FSG Originals
The Martian
Andy Weir
Kent Haruf

Make Your Own Wishlist

More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.

For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand β€˜on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events.

Update Profile