Brief Thief

Brief Thief

by Michael Escoffier, Kris Di Giacomo
     
 

Witty, humorous illustrations of great charm tell this story of conscience and mistaken identity as thoroughly as the book's delightful text. Here a lizard takes the liberty of using what seem to be some old underpants when he runs out of toilet paper. What he doesn't count on is that his own conscience and an outraged rabbit will be watching.

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Overview

Witty, humorous illustrations of great charm tell this story of conscience and mistaken identity as thoroughly as the book's delightful text. Here a lizard takes the liberty of using what seem to be some old underpants when he runs out of toilet paper. What he doesn't count on is that his own conscience and an outraged rabbit will be watching.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Bruce Handy
Truly funny sight gags are a picture-book holy grail, or should be, and Kris Di Giacomo's cartoonish yet painterly illustrations are witty in a way children and adults alike will savor. (Parents who frown on bottom-related humor should be aware that Brief Thief could well serve as a gateway drug to Captain Underpants.)
Publishers Weekly
Be forewarned—this story from the team behind Rabbit and the Not-So-Big-Bad-Wolf centers on the act of wiping after a poo. Yet it teaches a worthy lesson with sparkling dialogue and an excellent punch line. Goggle-eyed chameleon Leon, out in the forest doing his business, finds himself without any paper and instead uses a pair of underpants that are hanging on a tree. They appear to be abandoned, and “anyway, they’re full of holes.” Di Giacomo suggests the forest’s leaves and trees with splashed green paint, but her main interest is Leon’s beautifully abashed expressions. When a disembodied voice addresses Leon—“It’s me, your conscience”—his anguished grin gives the lie to his excuses. The voice bullies Leon into restoring things to their original state: “Go on, scrub! Like you mean it!” It turns out that there’s someone else in the forest who has a very specific use for those underpants. Escoffier has unusual insight into the psychology of doing something bad and getting caught. Readers will wince along with Leon, and laugh out loud when they find out what the underpants are really for. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

A Virgina State Reading List Selection

"[Brief Thief] teaches a worthy lesson with sparkling dialogue and an excellent punchline. [...] Escoffier has unusual insight into the psychology of doing something bad and getting caught. Readers will wince along with Leon, and laugh out loud when they find out what the underpants are really for." -- STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

"A natural for fans of Jon Klassen's terse creature capers." -- Kirkus Reviews

"A high quality printed book, a funny, well-written original story that is easy to read with spectacular illustrations that all leave you wanting to read the author and illustrator's next book right now. Now that's a perfect picture book." -- Good Reads With Ronna

“Truly funny sight gags are a picture-book holy grail, or should be, and Kris Di Giacomo’s cartoonish yet painterly illustrations are witty in a way children and adults alike will savor.” – The New York Times

“I’ve become a bit hard to crack sometimes when it comes to humorous picture books and I can honestly say this book has me laugh out loud nearly every single time. The pacing, the dialogue, the expressions, the paper, and the awesome surprise ending are such an incredibly lovely package.” – Three Books a Night

“A very smart and funny story about privacy and responsibility that, as the publisher suggests, shows kids the ultimate respect. Who hasn’t done something they knew wasn’t right and been bothered by a little voice in their heads? This book describes a way of working through that discomfort—while engendering belly laughs.” – Foreword Reviews

“Share this with all of those children who love something a little naughty in their picture books. If you share it with a group, you will most likely be asked to read it over again. Also, expect riotous reactions to the humor.” – Waking Brain Cells

“the giggles I get from reading it make me happy. Brief Thief does have a very important lesson to be learned too: Don't touch other people's things. My children just love to read this book over and over for a plain and simple reason: It's fun. And in my mind, if you can take a valuable lesson and make it fun to learn, it's a win-win for all.” – Metro Kids

“Quirky, silly, and only mildly gross, this book will keep you laughing every time!” – The Picky (Word) Eater

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
We meet Leon the green lizard enjoying his breakfast. After sunning himself, "Leon has to go poo." When he is finished behind a "nice tree," he realizes that the toilet paper roll is empty and he has "NO PAPER!" Looking for something else to use, he spies what looks like old underpants full of holes. After using them, he tosses them away. But then the "little voice" of his conscience bothers him, until he realizes that he must find them, wash them, and hang them up to dry, for someone may need them. Fortunately he does all that before the owner returns, for a funny surprise ending. The very simple story requires only a few visual props: a tree with sketchy leafy branches, a few mushrooms and ladybugs, a bucket, the "underpants," and eventually the owner. There is lots of space for the Leon's philosophical text in varying typography. Spotlighted on the jacket/cover are the red patterned "briefs" with a pattern that carries over on to the back end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS—Leon, a green iguana, is caught with no toilet paper. He has enjoyed a good breakfast and spent the morning in the sun. When nature calls, he hides behind a tree to take care of business and then discovers the empty toilet-paper roll. He considers using leaves or grass to clean himself, but neither of those choices is satisfactory. He spies what he assumes to be a discarded and torn pair of red-dotted underpants that "will do the trick." When he is done, he casts aside the soiled briefs, but then his conscience gets the better of him. He wrestles with the little voice inside that tells him he shouldn't touch other people's property. The argument is typed in alternating fonts. Finally, the repentant lizard washes out the garment and hangs it up to dry. After Leon has headed off to sun himself again, a rabbit dressed as a superhero appears. He retrieves his clothing and flies away, wearing his freshly laundered mask. "'Old underpants full of holes. Indeed!'" Di Giacomo's notable collagelike illustrations, rendered in a natural palette of greens, browns, and blues, succinctly portray Leon's turbulent emotions. His expressive features tell the whole story. This brief adventure teaches an unconventional lesson about listening to one's conscience.—Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA
Kirkus Reviews
A sparely told French knee-slapper features a chameleon, a rabbit and a pair of repurposed undies. Twice repurposed, as it turns out. Having enjoyed his customary breakfast fly, green Leon "has to go poo"--and discovers too late that there's no paper. Happily, he finds a pair of red patterned underwear "full of holes," hanging from a twig. But hardly has he chucked the soiled briefs into a bush than an insistent little voice drives him to repent of the theft, scrub the rag clean and hang it up again. "Since when are we allowed to touch other people's things? What do they teach you in school, anyway?" That voice of conscience, as it turns out, actually belongs to an annoyed rabbit in cape and costume. He emerges from hiding to reclaim the garment, tug it over his (wait for it) ears (the "holes" turn out to be eyeholes) and fly off. The text, printed in different colors and typefaces depending on the speaker, is placed over minimally detailed outdoor scenes created with splatters and thin layers of paint, featuring skinny-limbed figures with beady, expressive eyes. A natural for fans of Jon Klassen's terse creature capers. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592701315
Publisher:
Enchanted Lion Books
Publication date:
04/02/2013
Edition description:
Translatio
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 11.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


Born in Brazil, Kris Di Giacomo is a popular children's book illustrator who has lived in France for a long time. After a brief stint in the United States, she moved to France, where teaching English to young children and discovering French picture books were the triggers that led her into illustration. She has illustrated twenty picture books, a few of which she has written as well.

Michael Escoffier was born in France in 1970. Raised by a family of triceratops, he discovered his passion for writing and telling stories at a young age. He lives in Lyon, where he teaches and writes, with his wife and two children.

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