My favorite title of these four is Three Little Robbers by Christine Graham with illustrations by Susan Boase (Henry Holt & Co, 2007). I carried this title in my purse for a week making every librarian I know read it.
I believe Susan Boase was peeking in my library windows to find these children for models. The illustrations are perfect. Christine Graham’s writing reflects my population of Flo, Jo, and Mo’s with their "Yo’s!" While the writing is actually easier to read than Maybelle in the Soup, the ideas in this title lend themselves to more deep thinking and discussion with all levels of elementary students. I can’t wait until I put this title in the Language! teacher’s hand in fourth grade.
Flo, Jo, and Mo are three robbers who decide one night when they are cold, hungry, bored (and it’s too dark to read) that they will go rob an old lady. They discover the poor lady has less than them, but still offers up what she has. They leave pondering her dilemna and how they can solve her problems without stealing since she wouldn’t like it. Excellent, excellent title and I will be purchasing multiple copies for groups.
Author Christine Graham states on the book flap (which I always cover and leave on for my students to experience the entire publisher’s effect) that she began this book after hearing a radio news story about robbers that helped a poor woman they had tried to rob. If any of you can recall an ancient folktale similar to this, please let me know what it is. I searched D. L. Ashliman’s web site of Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts but still cannot recall where I may have heard this tale in an ancient format. Help me out, readers!