“Being an illustrator is like being a movie director: I get to cast all the characters, design the costumes, design the sets, and stage all the action,” says artist John Manders. “I even choose the camera angles!” John Manders was educated at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and later took courses at the School of Visual Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where he studied children’s illustration, animation, and life drawing. Today he’s a member of the Society of Illustrators, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators (he was also their first president).
John Manders’ art is featured in more than thirty children’s books and numerous children’s magazines and has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh gallery and the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. He was honored in the twenty-five-year retrospective of Cricket magazine covers, held at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. He is the illustrator of many beloved and award-winning children’s books, including Where’s My Mummy? and Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, both by Carolyn Crimi; The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend; and Minnie’s Diner by Dayle Ann Dodds. In May 2006 he was named Outstanding Illustrator/Author by the Pennsylvania School Librarian’s Association.
John Manders has an African grey parrot named Sherman who sings, and “a black Lab mix named India who is an expert napper,” he says. “Both pets can be found in my books. Look for Sherman in Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies.” John Manders’s interests include puppetry (which he studied at Syracuse University College) and trying to speak Italian. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.