Manfred Becomes a Detective (Manfred blir detektiv)
Illustrations by Marcus-Gunnar Pettersson
In the middle of Stockholm, next to the Strömmen canal, there is a house called The Sager Palace. Inside lives the Prime Minister, but on the roof someone quite different has made his home…
When Manfred, a miserable old raven, discovers a lost seagull chick on his roof one day, his humdrum existence is turned upside down. Manfred detests seagulls, and this chick is hungry, squeaking and whining. He has to find the parents and be rid of the infuriating chick as fast as possible. But this is trickier than he thought and turns into a real detective case. He puts the chick, which he calls Moses, on his back and sets off on an exhilirating adventure high above the rooftops of Stockholm. On the way, we meet all kinds of birds that might help them. There’s Carmen, the music-loving herring gull on the roof of the Opera; Semlan, the authoritative owl at the Royal Library, and Skeriffen, the fearsome goshawk who happily takes the law into his own wings.
Will Manfred succeed in his first mission and find Moses’s parents? And will the little downball even manage to thaw the raven’s heart? In this first book of a new series, Manfred the raven both finds his true calling as a detective, and in Moses the seagull, his faithful sidekick.
A warm and exciting story, with wonderful humour and unforgettable characters in both text by Eva Whitebrook and pictures by Marcus-Gunnar Petterson.
Denmark: ABC Forlag
Sweden: Rabén & Sjögren
“It’s a long time since I’ve laughed so much at a picture book. Eva Whitebrook writes with an irresistable dry humour, almost British, and Marcus-Gunnar Pettersson’s detailed pictures have the same outrageous fun and irreverant tone. Manfred is a unique personality that we very much want to see more of.”
Gunhild Arby, Barnboksportalen, Sweden’s most serious/important review site on children’s literature
“Yet Stockholm is the background, and while Manfred becomes a Detective is an exciting story, the focus is on how the need for warmth and care can develop into affection, and what happens to a struggling old man when a child’s need overcomes his selfishness and forces him to prioritise someone other than himself. (…) You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, or so the saying goes. But this beautiful story about Manfred the raven, shows how inter-generational friendships can melt hearts.”
Sydsvenska Dagbladet / SWE
“I was so delighted by Whitebrook’s writing, which is both punchy and has echoes of The Bible and other works, yet is still original. The is the highlight of the 2022 picture book releases.”
Wermlandia / SWE
“Eva Whitebrook’s writing is beautifully inspired and Marcus-Gunnar Pettersson’s illustrations are remarkable in their playfulness and wealth of detail. Now we can’t wait to join Manfred for more adventures!”
Little Literarian, writer and critic Kristina Sigunsdotter
“This picture book is a very beautiful, inspiring and entertaining story about compassion and responsibility that works very well as a bedtime story. The moral is wrapped up in an engaging tale that is lovingly told. Both the charming illustrations and the style of the story and its humour are reminiscent of many of the great stories about Petterson and Findus by Sven Nordqvist, and the book writes itself into the beautiful tradition of Sweden’s best picture books. A great story about taking responsibility and about the fact that even the smallest bird amongst us can mean something to others.”
The Literature Page / Denmark
“A wonderful and heartwarming book about friendship and cooperation. The story is told with humour and compassion and there are many fine details in the pictures. The story is well-crafted and makes good, clear points about receiving what life offers.”
DBC Digital, Denmark