“Jack And the Manger” by Andy Jones & Darka Erdelji

About the Book

Winner 2012 Bruneau Family Award for Children’s/Young Adult Literature

Shortlisted for the 2012 Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage and History Award

Jack and the Manger retells the story of Jesus’s birth as if it were a Newfoundland folktale. It’s all seen through the eyes of Jack, the hero of many a story, who befriends a young couple on their walk to Bethlehem. There’s a bit of ‘angel talk’, some gravel pit camping, an edge-of-your-seat birth drama, and the low-down on how Caesar Augustus’s ‘count-and-tax plan’ brought them all together. It’s a down-to-earth version of a heavenly tale.

Gentle, playful and very funny, Jack and the Manger is the second in an on-going series of Jack tales, combining the talents of Andy Jones, one of Newfoundland’s finest storytellers and actors, and Darka Erdelji, one of its most distinctive artists. It was a Christmas sensation in St. John’s when it was first published, and is sure to please even the most Grinch-like of readers.

Erdelji, whose illustrations for The Queen of Paradise’s Garden were widely praised, captures the sly wit, intelligence and great heartedness of Jones’s tale in her pictures once again.

Jack and the Manger is a fine Christmas tale for young and old alike.


About the Author

An actor, writer, storyteller, and director,  Andy Jones was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He worked with CODCO, both in theatre and on television, and with Sheila’s Brush Theatre Troupe. He has written, performed, and toured five one-man shows; has performed in theatrical productions across Canada and on numerous television shows; and has appeared in such films as Extraordinary Visitor, The Adventures of Faustus Bidgood, and Rare Birds.

His monologue “Boiled Dinner” is included in Running the Goat’s Three Servings. He is the author/adaptor, with Philip Dinn, of Peg Bearskin, a folktale from Placentia Bay, which was shortlisted for the 2004/05 Hackmatack Award and named to the International Youth Library’s prestigious White Ravens List. His on-going series of Jack tales, illustrated by Darka Erdelji and designed by Veselina Tomova, has been much lauded:  The Queen of Paradise’s Garden was named to the IYL’s White Ravens List, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Bruneau Family Award and the 2010 Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage and History Award; Jack and the Manger, a re-telling of the Christmas story as if it were a Newfoundland folktale, received the 2012 Bruneau Family Award for Children’s/Young Adult Literature and was shortlisted for the 2012 NL Heritage and History Award; Jack and Mary in the Land of Thieves received the 2012 BMO Winterset Award and the 2014 Bruneau Family Award. Jack, the King of Ashes was nominated for the 2015 Ann Connor Brimer Award, the 2015 Governor-General's Literary Award for Illustrated Children's Book and the 2016 Silver Birch Express Award.  Jack and the Green Man, the fifth book in this series, appeared in October 2016. It has been shortlisted for the 2017/2018 Hackmatack Award.


About the Illustrator

A native of Slovenia, Darka Erdelji received a Masters of Arts in Puppet Scenography from Prague’s Akadmie Muzickych Umeni. She lived in St. John’s with her Newfoundland-born partner and their children for several years; during that time, she began collaborating with Andy Jones, first on their puppet play “The Queen of Paradise’s Garden”, and then on their acclaimed series of illustrated Jack tales. Darka currently designs puppets for Lutkovno Gledališče Maribor, a state-of-the-art Slovenian puppet theatre housed in a renovated medieval monastery.

In the summer of 2015, Darka's artwork for two of the Jack books was featured at “Image. Word. Design: Exploring Picture Book Illustration in Atlantic Canada,”  an exhibition at the Acadia University Art Gallery in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

Her books with Running the Goat are: The Queen of Paradise’s GardenJack and the Manger,  Jack and Mary in the Land of Thieves and Jack, the King of Ashes. The fifth book in this on-going series, Jack and the Green Man was published in the fall of 2016.

In June of 2017 Polly MacCauley's Finest, Divinest, Woolliest Gift of All, her new collaboration, this time with Sheree Fitch, will be publisher.

We're giving away a copy of  "Jack and the Manger" along with "Jack and the Green Man" in our Countdown to Christmas Contest.

Click on the picture below to see how YOU can get in on the winning!


  1. do you have cd's for sale? we have a friend inOnt who would go nuts over this. my wife and i also loved it.thanks and Merry Xmas.

    Comment by tom fitzgerald — December 24, 2017 @ 9:40 am

  2. loved jack's story

    Comment by tom fitzgerald — December 24, 2017 @ 9:43 am

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