Reimagined Folktales and Fairy Tales

Official Publishing date, October 1, 2019 –

Welcome to Loukas and the Game of Chance where you’ll meet a flute-playing boy who befriends a magical talking, dancing snake. The snake bestows fortune and favor upon Loukas. Some years later, tempted by greed and pride, Loukas loses all his riches and even his family. He now sets off on a treacherous journey hoping to find Destiny, Sun, and Moon. They’ll surely allow him to reverse his misfortune, restore his honor, and win back all that he loves and treasures, won’t they?

Author bio: Anthony L. Manna

Illustrator bio: Donald Babisch

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5-star award

Once upon a time in Greece, fate left a young girl an orphan. Her stepmother was so hateful that she counted every drop of water the orphan drank! But with the help of Nature’s blessings, the orphan was showered with gifts: brilliance from the Sun, beauty from the Moon, gracefulness from the Dawn—and even a tiny pair of blue shoes from the Sea. When the prince comes to visit their village, he only has eyes for the mysterious beauty. Children will love this fanciful folk retelling of the Cinderella story, accompanied by luminous watercolor illustrations by Giselle Potter.

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Since she cannot find the perfect man to marry, feisty Princess Areti decides to create a man of her own, Mr. Semolina-Semolinus, out of sugar, almonds, and semolina wheat, but when he is kidnapped by an evil queen, Areti must brave a perilous journey to get him back. Giselle Potter’s vibrant illustrations illuminate the tale’s drama.

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Welcome to an intriguing collection of 20 humorous and suspenseful stories about supernatural beings, clever folk, animal tales, weird gals and guys, dangerous journeys, challenges, and recovery from terrible struggles.


Book Awards

  • American Library Association Notable Children’s Book for Mr. Semolina-Semolinus: A Greek Folktale.
  • New York Public Library~ Listed among 100 Best Books of the Year for Mr. Semolina-Semolinus: A Greek Folktale.
  • Marion Vannett Ridgway Award for first-time authors and illustrators for Mr. Semolina-Semolinus: A Greek Folktale.
  • Bank Street College of Education Best Book of 2012 for The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece.

The story takes you places and holds your attention.

“It’s so rich in color you would think it is one of the classics. Loukas and the Game of Chance is definitely a must-read. Children will have a fun but meaningful time with this story. The adults too because this story is definitely for everyone!”

-Trisha Dawn Readers Favorite

We love the illustrations

“My daughter loves the Cinderella story, so I started buying her different ethnic versions. She is a sliver Greek, so it was nice to be able to give her a story that includes part of her heritage. It is written well and the illustrations are lovely.” – Teacher/Mom

My class loved reading the different versions

“Creative version for writing class! I purchased several versions of the Cinderella story from many countries. My class loved reading the different versions and used that as a springboard to write their own story of Cinderella from a different country after completing some research.” – Deborah J. Bell

The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece

“This Book is Magical! I collect Cinderella stories from around the world for my daughter and this is now one of my favorites! As always, Giselle Potter’s illustrations are heart-breakingly beautiful.”

– Margaret E Mathenia

Highly recommend!

“Wonderful complication of several stories I heard growing up over the years. Organized well in sections. Highly recommend.” – Alexandra Letendr

Folktales from Greece: A Treasury of Delights

“A rich source of folktales. Most of them not yet seen in other folktale compilations. As a fairy- and folktale- storyteller it was a pleasure to adopt them in my native language.”

– Urs Volkart

A great lesson for my daughter

Positive Message for Young GirlsI have a young daughter who is beginning to understand how the opinions of others can shape how she views herself. I read this book with her and the positive message of believing in yourself was better demonstrated by the actions of the protagonist than I could ever hope to explain to her in my own words. Thank you for this book, Anthony Manna. I hope I am on the right path of teaching my daughter that in order for others to believe in her, she needs first to believe in herself. – Kissing Hands for Two

Mr. Semolina-Semolinus: A Greek Folktale

“This is a fantastic book! If you liked Paperbag Princess, you will love this book. The story is very well developed and is a positive book. (Especially for young girls!) This is a role reversal story about a princess who decides to create her own man (since she wasn’t happy with any of the men she knew) and has to save him after he has been kidnapped by an evil queen! I give this book a definite 5 stars!” – Heather Gileau

Donald did a fantastic job of bringing your vibrant characters to life

“Donald did a fantastic job of bringing your vibrant characters to life, and he didn’t need color to do it! Amazing! We both agreed that the drawings were very intricate, unique, and creative all while being very realistic as we were easily suspended into Loukas’s world! The picture of the Keeper of the Forest was “just as interesting as the Keeper was made out to be,!” Katie said. The picture of Destiny, Ilion, and Luna was Katie’s absolute favorite. She said that it “truly depicted the picture of them that I had created in my mind.” – Katie, age 14 and Katie’s Mom