The Tear Thief

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The mysterious fairy-like Tear Thief, visible only as a reflection in a puddle, creeps into town at night, listening for the sound of crying. She snatches a tear from a boy in the bathtub, many from a girl in a tantrum, and some from fighting twins. In her collecting sack, the tears are jewels, colored according to their cause, but the most valuable are the tears of real sadness. When the Tear Thief passes a girl crying these tears, the girl sees her in a puddle and asks about why she collects them. The Tear Thief tells her that the light of the moon is made of tears, but the most beautiful light comes from the tears of sadness. The girl is crying because she has lost her dog. When she finds it and goes home, she sees the beauty of the moonlight and remembers the Tear Thief. Ceccoli’s acrylic paintings fill the double pages with visual poetry, quiet scenes of city streets and rooftops along with an infrequent room with crying child. The smoothness of the paintings, mainly with shades of blue backgrounds, creates a hush. There is a strange magic over the story, with possible meanings to ponder. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature - Jennie DeGenaro
If readers enjoy fairy tales, they will love this book. The unusual illustrations lead you through the story and the reader sees the silvery protagonist, a fairy, as a character with her own personality. The Tear Thief cannot be seen except in mud puddles. She is illustrated as almost transparent while the children have more shape and color. The Tear Thief wears silk slippers to prevent people from hearing her as she goes around collecting tears. She encounters children and explains how she steals tears. The Tear Thief likes the color of the sad little girl's tears because they show she is truly sad. The Tear Thief explains the different tear colors she places in her bag. For example, tears of rage are red and glow like rubies. The last episode of a child crying is the little girl who lost her beloved dog. When the Tear Thief steals a few tears, she disappears. The little girl looks for the Tear Thief in many mud puddles, but can't find her. Finally, the little girl's dog appears. The illustrations are so appealing that they add much interest. This should be another winner for artist and author. Reviewer: Jennie DeGenaro
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2- The Tear Thief, a ghostlike figure of a girl, is invisible except for her reflection in puddles. She slips into the homes of crying children during the time between supper and bed to steal their tears. The tears go into her sack, where they turn into jewels. Tears of rage become like rubies; those of jealousy are like emeralds. Soon a girl is spotted on a street corner, crying bitter tears of sadness-"the most precious...of all...worth more than diamonds"-for her lost dog. The Thief moves in to gather them, but the girl is standing by a puddle and sees the reflection, which forces The Thief to explain herself. Every night she takes her bag of jewels to the moon and empties her stash into its light. That is how the moon gets its glow. The acrylic illustrations are appropriately dreamy: the colors are all softened to depict the night, and The Tear Thief is transparent and ghostly. However, the static human faces and the unnerving message that the moon's glow is dependent on children who are sad or angry elevate the "creepy" factor to an uncomfortable level.-Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846866227
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,430,693
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Gem

    I checked out this book at the library and after reading it once to my kids I said this book is a keeper. Everytime my kids cry, I tell them I will collect tears for the tear thief so the moon will shine bright tonight. It has helped them regulate their emotions and identify different feelings associated with tears. I will be giving this book as a gift, as well. It is truly a gem and I wish I has it sooner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2007

    Great Book for ALL Ages

    The message behind this book is simple there are many reasons that people cry, and everyone does cry. The illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous and the way in which the different tears are colored, and valued is a lesson in itself. This could be a wonderful, gentle way to help children of all ages learn to identify their emotions and recognize the difference between cranky tears and genuine sadness.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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