Rick George, the

real-life Milford and Orange, Connecticut animal control officer who inspired the character George Richards, told the

New Haven Register:

“I love the book, my grandchildren love it. It’s a book with a happy ending.”

Grandparents love Wilhelmina!


Librarians and Teachers love Wilhelmina!

“What a nice story! Love it!”

Sharon Geer

Assistant Librarian, Voluntown Public Library

Voluntown, Connecticut

“Your book is lovely and I will be recommending it to children and other librarians!”

Debra Carrier Perry

Children’s Librarian, Otis Library

Norwich, Connecticut

“I was visiting the Family Resource Center today at one of Milford’s public schools, talking to parents about reading strategies for children. One of the parent educators brings over your Wilhelmina book to share with me, saying how much she loved it. We then worked it into the conversation about using your book to start a conversation with kids about self-acceptance. So thank you!”

Suzanne Harrison-Thomas

Children’s Librarian

Milford Public Library

Milford, Connecticut

“I really like Betty. She would be a person anyone would want in his/her life. After dealing with those ignorant humans that didn’t even know she wasn’t a bull, Wilhelmina realizes just how happy she is to be accepted and loved.”

Lorraine Czajkowski

Retired Teacher

Norwich, Connecticut

“My mother is 93-years-old, and lives independently (still!) in senior housing in Jewett City, Connecticut. Her name is Wilhelmina, and she absolutely LOVES your book of the same name. I bought the book for her last year, and she has read it a number of times. She shows it to visitors and chuckles over the fact that a cow is her namesake. She has instructed my daughters that this book will be handed down to them when they have children of their own, and they should read the book to them and tell them about their grandmother, Wilhelmina.”

Louise L. Quintilliani


“I’m 67 years old and totally hooked on the book. I have given the book out as gifts and the book is loved.”

Judie Schwalm

Milford, Connecticut

“Great book and illustrations. Read it to my grandchildren last night during sleep over. So much to have taken place in our hometown of Orange and neighboring cities. We followed the newspaper stories and all cheered for the runaway bull/lady.

Bonnie Pelaccia

Orange, Connecticut

“So sweet and so full of teaching moments!”

Christiane Geisler

Washington, D.C.

“I read your story and really loved it. It actually brought tears to my eyes feeling sorry for poor Wilhelmina. I think it Will be a great story for parents to read to their children. I don’t see it as a book a child could read themselves, but definitely one a parent would read. And the fact that it is a real story and lists local places makes it even better. I would think that it would be a good book for bedtime reading for any child up to maybe eight or nine years. Of course if it becomes a bedtime favorite, that could go on for a few more years, too.”

Pamela Andriote Day

John’s sister; mother, grandmother

Snelville, Georgia

Parents and CHILDREN love Wilhelmina!

“My 12-year-old and I liked it a lot.”

Jan Misarski

Millbury, Massachusetts

“I read it to my daughters. They did enjoy it. I liked the message, too. The girls are five and nine, and I liked being able to tell them I know the person who wrote the book.”

Gene Logan

Washington, D.C.

“I love the book and the premise.”

Karen Stone

Norwich, Connecticut

“The underlying principle (when you are accepted, you are comfortable, happy, etc.) is a good healthy one.

Robert Zarnetske

Madison, Connecticut

Amazon reviewers love Wilhelmina!

An inspiring Wilhelmina!

By Robert D. Heath on April 4, 2014

For more than 30 years, I have read my friend John-Manuel Andriote’s work. He is a historian, investigative journalist, social commentator and political gadfly. But, children’s author? Inspired by news stories of a wayward cow that caught the public imagination in his native Connecticut, John has created a charming story that works on several levels. . . Katie Runde’s spirited illustrations bring the story into focus and invite the reader to enter into Wilhelmina’s world. They evoke beautifully the New England countryside with its constantly changing seasons and colors. . . READ MORE

“It’s amazing to me that this is his first children’s book because he has the right voice, and he’s not afraid to put themes in there that might be more than what some would say would be ‘children’s themes.’ He talked about fitting in and becoming free, and at times not knowing who the cow was, who Wilhelmina was; she didn’t understand herself. And those just resonate with children.”

Mary Ellen Minichiello

Calf Pen Meadow Elementary School

Media Center Director, Milford, Connecticut

President, New England Association of School Librarians

I'd never heard of a cow that actually ‘ran’ away before...

By  JK "Guy who buys stuff"  on June 11, 2014

I've seen them walk away plenty of times...The story is good, and interesting (to everyone reading). The illutrations are quite lifelike! This is why my daughter particularly loves this book! I kept my first copy, but I will buy another and donate to the local library shortly!

Wilhelmina brings it home!

By Andrea Dye  on March 31, 2014

This is a beautifully written book, it really reaches close to home. We all feel like Wilhelmina in the world with really finding where we belong in this life time. The illustration is absolutely stunning, it is illustrated with real soul - this is an up and coming author and illustrator. Great book for the young and old!

Runaway Cow makes headliines

By M Perrin  on March 28, 2014

When I read in the news about a cow wandering in the woods, I thought "how hard could it be to save it?" Then I read that they had finally captured the cow and given her a new home.That was the end, or so I thought. This book gives the cow, Wilhelmina, real substance and her adventures will stay in my mind for a very long time.

The story, along with the illustrations, bring the story to life. The toddlers will love looking at this book and retelling the story many times. I recommend this book to parents, preschool teachers and librarians as a "ReadTo Me".

After reading this, I am purchasing this book and donating it to my library for storytime.

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram

English ISBN: 978-1-62890-258-7

French ISBN: 978-1-63443-453-9

hardcover, 8.5” x 8.5” | 42 pages

18 original full-color illustrations

$15/English | $21/French | $3.95/Audiobook

“This is on its way to being a Connecticut classic.”

PAUL TRUBEY  Beltane Farm | Lebanon, Connecticut

Home is where the heart is

By Yaakov (James) Mosher on September 6, 2014

A curious bovine finds the grass can be greener on the other side in John-Manuel Andriote’s first foray into children’s books. And, like all good children’s stories, “Wilhelmina Goes Wandering” entertains and inspires both children and adults.

Andriote, the wide-ranging journalist and author whose non-fiction works include an examination of the impact of HIV/AIDS on American homosexuals as well as a history of disco dancing, takes a New England news item and projects it onto the big screen of universality. Indeed, this story belongs on the movie big screen inspiring all us Wilhelminas that want to be valued for simply being one of G-d’s creatures and not for what we contribute to the false god of “The Economy.”

Note how Andriote gets the point across succinctly and effectively: “From her calfhood until this moment, no one seemed to care that inside Wilhelmina was a free spirit, born to roam. Her humans only cared that she produced milk for their cereal.”

Those, like myself, that know John will see in “Wilhelmina” elements of his personal journey including the comfort of being accepted as a gay man in his “Other Connecticut” hometown after being away 30 years as well as the discomfort of the city fathers and newspaper not properly valuing his talent or sharing his boldness and enthusiasm. Yes, we’ve come a long way but change remains fraught with difficulties.

Like most of us, Wilhelmina is looking for love, acceptance, and adventure and what’s needed to get her on the road to realizing those things is a little push. That push comes from a comment made by a deer. It’s a nice accident of the English language that the comment made by the deer makes her dear to Wilhelmina.

The fact that the heroes of this story are actually heroines (as in female) shouldn’t escape us. The female personality is the one that more often thinks of higher things while the male is out trying to conquer the world, destroy cultures he finds unacceptable, or, increasingly since the 1960s, simply throwing responsibility over the shoulder. Kudos to Andriote for recognizing this religious truth and, ladies, rejoice in being G-d’s final act of creation.

Connecticut-born artist Katie Runde’s illustrations are excellent. One might notice that Phineas the cat is drawn in every frame yet is acknowledged in the text only once and doesn’t exchange words with Wilhelmina. Perhaps we should view Phineas as the cow’s guardian angel (how’s that for reversing the historic role of the black cat?).

The only confusion I met is when Animal Control Office George is speaking about “Waldo.” It would lessen confusion if “Waldo” and “him” had been written with quotation marks. Without the marks, one is liable to think that a new character is being introduced.

Hopefully, that problem will be eliminated in the French translation (due out soon) and future print runs. In the meantime, introduce your children to this animal heroine that could make her author and an enterprising movie studio millions (Hollywood and the nation is ready for a heroic cow) and watch her find peace through what we all know to be true – home is where the heart is.

“Wilhemina and I found each other by accident. I love children's books because they often have simple lessons adulthood makes us forget. As an animal lover, I was struck by this ladylike (but giant) cow who had such a great vibe! Her journey to find the life she was happy with reminded me of important lessons: sometimes you have to run away from the life you have to create the life you want; your family is who you make it and they don't have to look like you; we can all live happily ever after if we accept each other without judgement. Keep wandering..!”

Pavni Guharoy

Communication professional

Washington, D.C.

Children’s book lovers love Wilhelmina!