Yakov and the Seven Thieves
  • Alternative view 1 of Yakov and the Seven Thieves
  • Alternative view 2 of Yakov and the Seven Thieves

Yakov and the Seven Thieves

4.3 6
by Madonna, Gennadii Spirin, Gennady Spirin
     
 

Yakov, the kindly cobbler, and his wife, Olga, are heartbroken because their son, Mikhail, is very ill. They seek advice from a wise old man, who enlists the help of seven thieves and proves that miracles can occur if we do good deeds.

Overview

Yakov, the kindly cobbler, and his wife, Olga, are heartbroken because their son, Mikhail, is very ill. They seek advice from a wise old man, who enlists the help of seven thieves and proves that miracles can occur if we do good deeds.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like Mr. Peabody's Apples, Madonna's new picture book was also inspired by a teacher (albeit one from the 18th century, according to an author's note on the flap) and profits from the work of a strong illustrator. The cobbler Yakov's only son, Mikhail, lies dying, and Yakov seeks help from the "wise old man who lives in the last house at the edge of the village" who "speaks to angels." The old man's prayers reach the gates of heaven, but "the gates were locked." He then sends his grandson Pavel into town to assemble "all the thieves, pickpockets, and criminals who live there." Here the book takes on a comic tone as the author describes the seven thieves. Spirin, working in his usual meticulously detailed style, lets out the stops with portraits of such characters as "big and fat and hairy" Vladimir the Villain, who busts out of his mishmash of clothing and attempts to bend a horseshoe, and Petra the Pickpocket ("her fingers were everywhere they were not supposed to be-especially in her nose"). "When they had all finished belching and farting and behaving like twits," the seven miscreants fall to their knees next to the old man, and the thieves' prayers pick the locks on heaven's gates. Spirin's wordless spread of the septet on their knees, a glow emanating from their faces, makes clear that the miracle will transpire. Once again the author drives home the message. "You see, the thieves represent the things in us that are bad or wrong or selfish," says the old man to Pavel. "And when we turn away from our naughty behavior and embrace good deeds, as the thieves did with their prayers, we are turning the key and unlocking the gates of heaven." Spirin's paintings carry the real magic with subtlety and insight. He renders with care the smallest features of 18th-century European town life: cobbler's nails, brass drawer-pulls, feather pens, children's toys. Even Madonna's soapbox approach can't tarnish Spirin's images, nor the wit of the original story. Ages 4-8. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670058877
Publisher:
Callaway Editions, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/17/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 10.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Yakov and the Seven Thieves 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is magical. I enjoyed it. First, the book has angels. For example, the Angel of Death hovers over his son's bed. It means that if he dies the angel will take him to the beyond. Also, the illustrations of angels are up above the characters. Even the thieves who were naughty have the angels above them. This means that they have a good side. Finally, like other fairytales, this has a happy ending. In other words, Yakov's son doesn't die and one of the thieves that stole shoes returns them. When he came to return them, the little boy said that he did not need them. He told the thief he could have the shoes. Therefore, I give this book a 5. It is easy to read. I recommend reading this story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book shows children that good things come to good people which is a very positive way for children to be brought up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The star is for the illustrator. His magnificent paintings are worthy of a much more profound story than this one. It's a wonder why his name is not included on the cover, as are illustrators of other childrens books, when the author and illustrator are not the same person. This story left me uninspired. Verbose and shallow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the whole story from the first page to the last. I would still give it 5 stars based on the colors and pictures alone. My 7 yr old daughter loves to read all of her books, she also is amazed by the pictures that makes the books even more interesting while she's reading. She would love to see each of her story books produced as a movie series. The English Roses would be a great start.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is pretty good and a lot better than I'd expect. The pictures are wonderful and the story was nice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much, so did my three nephews and nieces. Madonna gets her message through by pointing out that any one can do good deeds sometime. The illustrations are tremendously well done, each drawing looks like a classical painting, something one would see at the Louvre... One detail I did not care very much about this book is that it is extremely religious oriented. But in all, she did a great job.