Devine 8th Grader illustrates new book “Dan the Man”

Kids are sure to enjoy and be inspired by a new children’s book that was illustrated by Devine 8th grader Madeline Hein and authored by Cindy Martinez-Mangold of Castroville. And if you went to the Devine Fall Festival and Parade this November, chances are you got to meet the main character…..Dan the man.
The book entitled “Dan the Man” was written as a “thank you” to Mangold’s neighbor, Marla, the initial owner of an amazing 1 ton Percheron, Dan the Man.
“Marla was retiring from driving Dan for a San Antonio carriage company and mentioned to my husband and me that she was looking for a forever home for this gentle giant. My husband, Mark, and I offered to take him,” Mangold said. “Since owning Dan, we’ve ridden in several parades all across Texas and have witnessed the awe people experience when they first catch sight of him and his buddy Joe, a striking black Percheron. We have gotten so much enjoyment out of Dan an I wanted to write her and thank you and when Mark saw what a great artist Madeline is, things just kind of all fell into place.”
As for having an eighth grader illustrate the book, Mark Mangold, who is a Devine middle school teacher, had a hand in that.
“One day as he was hanging students’ artwork outside of his classroom, and Madeline commented on it and later came by with her personal version even though she wasn’t his student. Coach Mangold was so impressed with her drawing he suggested to his wife, Cindy, that she speak to Madeline’s mom about her illustrating the Dan the Man book she had written. Thankfully Madeline’s mom agreed!”

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Madeline’s mom, Laura Hein of Devine, commented, “I am very proud of her and what she accomplished in this book. This was her first time illustrating a book, and it is very, very well done. She hopes to go to college in Florida and pursue a career in creating graphics for gaming and 3-D animation, and there’s no doubt in my mind that she can do it! She has really good vision and when someone asks her to create something she can just see it in her head. She especially loves painting on canvas and doing digital art. She even has her own YouTube channel with digital animations.”
Giving Back
The plan for the proceeds from this book is to purchase as many Dan The Man books possible and hand them out at children’s shelters while giving kids an opportunity to meet Dan and Joe and have their photo taken with them, as well as contributing to a scholarship fund for the talented young artist, Madeline Hein. The book is available at
The story is sort of a play on words, with the mystery revealed at the end. There are also subtle references to Texas landmarks and traditions throughout the book.
Other work by this author….
The author, Cindy Martinez-Mangold, is an office clerk by day, but enjoys the adventure of writing, especially when it gives the opportunity to help or inspire others along the way. Her first book, Cotton Candy Clouds, was illustrated by a homeless man, who she met through a very special program in Austin. That book is also available on Amazon.