Bob Robber and Dancing Jane

Overview

The poetic text and magical illustrations offer an older, picture book audience an interesting allegory of how simple goodness overcomes the darkness that can exist in us all.

Bob Robber lived alone and only came out at night. His hair was black as bats and his eyes the colour of the new moon. One summer night he saw Dancing Jane -- “Her feet were light, her eyes were brown and her dress was white as winter snow.” This is the story of how Bob Robber steals Dancing Jane’s shadow ...

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Overview

The poetic text and magical illustrations offer an older, picture book audience an interesting allegory of how simple goodness overcomes the darkness that can exist in us all.

Bob Robber lived alone and only came out at night. His hair was black as bats and his eyes the colour of the new moon. One summer night he saw Dancing Jane -- “Her feet were light, her eyes were brown and her dress was white as winter snow.” This is the story of how Bob Robber steals Dancing Jane’s shadow and then, full of remorse decides to return it and, for the first time in his life, asks for something instead of stealing it -- he asks Jane if she will teach him to dance.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The illustrations are as lovely as the story in this tender and haunting tale of courage and love. Bob Robber is a lonely and bitter thief who can steal even the "truth from a promise and make it into a lie." Along comes sweet Dancing Jane who innocently steals Bob Robber's heart. Lacking the confidence to confront her, Bob instead does the only thing that he knows how to do; he steals. This time it is Dancing Jane's shadow that Rob Robber takes, but somehow it is not the same. Bob Robber gives back to Dancing Jane her shadow and in the process, gives back to all of nature. The dark images at the beginning of the book may unsettle very young readers, but with proper telling, children will understand the important message this story delivers and be surprised and delighted by the light and fanciful imagery at the end. 2004, Jonathan Cape/Random House Children's Books, Ages 4 to 8.
—Denise Daley
Kirkus Reviews
Willey’s delicately elfin figures and jewel-bright colors have never shown to better effect than in this atmospheric tale of a robber who discovers the difference between stolen goods and freely given ones. Bob Robber can steal the scent from flowers and the truth from a promise, so when he spies Dancing Jane one moonlit night, he carves a tear into a heart to distract her, and steals her shadow as a dancing partner. He finds out, though, that he’s traded his heart for a wilted thing that will not move on its own. Confused and sad, he returns it, whereupon Jane takes his hand and teaches him to dance until the dawn--which he had never seen before--lights the sky. Their faces luminescent in Willey’s shadowed nighttime scenes, Bob and Dancing Jane pose with increasingly balletic grace as background swirls of red and opening poppies announce the break of day. A lovely tale for more advanced sensibilities, rich both in feeling and poetic imagery. (Picture book. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780224064651
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Limited
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.34 (d)

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