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Bob Robber and Dancing Jane Hardcover – 1 Sep 2002
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Bob Robber only came out at night and the night had got into him. He could stand so still that spiders didn't notice him and spun webs around him, but he envied Dancing Jane's light feet and happy dancing. Bob Robber cannot dance and so he tries to steal her shadow.
From the Inside Flap
Young Bob Robber lives alone in a dingy old cottage. He comes out only at night, and it is as if the darkness is within him. Then one night, he sees Dancing Jane. Her feet are light and her dress is white as snowand he envies her happy dancing. But Bob Robber cannot dance, and so he does the only thing he can think to do: he steals Dancing Janes shadow. But the shadow cannot dance without its owner, and Jane is bereft; dreaming of her sad face, Bob resolves to return it to her. The next night he waits by the road. Then, for the first time in his life, he asks for something instead of stealing ithe asks Jane to teach him to dance. As she takes his hand, she dances the cobwebs off his coat and the darkness from his soul, leading him into the morning light. A lyrical tale of human kindness and redemption.|The poetic text and magical illustrations offer an older, picture book audience an interesting allegory of how simple goodness overcomes the darkness that can exist in us all.
Bob Robber lived alone and only came out at night. His hair was black as bats and his eyes the colour of the new moon. One summer night he saw Dancing Jane -- Her feet were light, her eyes were brown and her dress was white as winter snow. This is the story of how Bob Robber steals Dancing Janes shadow and then, full of remorse decides to return it and, for the first time in his life, asks for something instead of stealing it -- he asks Jane if she will teach him to dance.
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From a technical point of view in terms of the structure, page count, scale and composition, this book has been helpful to me. However, there are numerous annoying grammatical inaccuracies which repeat themselves again and again; '...his hair was [as] black as bats'; 'her dress was [as] white as winter snow; her dress was [as] red as autumn leaves'; 'her dress was [as] blue as summer skies' (you get the idea) and then at other times the correctly worded statements '...until it was as hard and clear as glass.'; 'His thieving fingers were as nimble as fish'; 'His thieving fingers felt as stiff as sticks.' Exactly why the text constantly lurches between the correct and incorrect is unfathomable. This is not necessarily the author's fault, but the proofreading has let him down. If you're writing a book for children, you are helping to educate them, so you need to make sure that what you say is not just consistent but consistently correct. Also, I'm sure that it's unlikely, but I hope that none of the kids reading the book take it literally and take a knife to try to carve their tears into heart shapes.
Image-wise, it all gets a bit gaudy towards the end, where the two protagonists whirl away in a trippy haze of flowers and butterflies. Of course, you know on starting the book that sooner or later it's going to go from the darkness into the light, but the last few pages aren't as nice to look at as they could be. The computer software hasn't been very successful in the rendering of some of the wild grasses, although the rendering of the moonlight on the landscape in the first couple of spreads is beautiful, as are the layouts in a few of the compositions. Bob and Jane, whilst thankfully don't look like child models as in some picture books I've seen, have virtually expressionless blank faces throughout, regardless of the situation, which makes them both appear in a somewhat zombie-like state.
I'm sure that mine is the exception to most of the reviews and, on looking at them, it seems that I am. I just don't feel that the book has lived up to my expectations and initial admiration. It has, however, left me feeling that I am definitely able to achieve my goal if this book is anything to go by.
My daughter clearly thought it might be too old for her 3 year old son but he LOVED it - insisted on hearing it 3 times before bed and then taking it to bed with him.
One he won't grow out of for some time, as it's suitable for older children than this.
One for adults to enjoy as well
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