Review of The Robbery

The Robbery The Robbery
by Joaquín Camp; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Berbay    40 pp.
5/24    9781922610706    $18.99

Thief 1, Thief 2, and Thief 3 have a simple plan: they will dig a tunnel and rob a bank. But even the best-laid plans require better navigational skills than those possessed by this trio, and though they manage to find a concert, a wrestling match, and the other side of the world—and new friends in each of those places—the bank eludes them. The tone remains deadpan as events grow increasingly absurd, while humor is plentiful in the naive-style illustrations. The images of the thieves themselves are especially simple, but Camp conveys much about their emotions (frequently surprise or confusion) with a few well-angled lines. Cross-sections of scenes provide dramatic irony as viewers can see beyond the thieves’ literal tunnel vision. But bank or no bank, the real treasure is the friends they make along the way. (Thief 3 even posits that the treasure is “a metaphor and…actually in our hearts,” though Thief 1 and Thief 2 dismiss this suggestion as “very corny.”) Preposterous fun for the savvy young reader or read-aloud audience.

From the May/June 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in writing for children from Simmons University. She has served on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Sydney Taylor Book Award committees.

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