Three Little Robbers (Henry Holt, 2007) 

Buy on Amazon / IndieBound


The idea for the robbers’ story came after I heard a news item on NPR. It was one of those funny little stories that fill a few seconds. The story was about some robbers who tried to steal from an old woman but ended up bringing her things when they found out how poor she really was. I thought about the story for a long time, and it grew into the story of the robbers. 

Thanks to Reka Simonson and all the other kind people at Henry Holt for making the book possible and beautiful. 

Susan Boase’s illustrations really make the characters come alive. I love them. She did amazing things with Peter Peter Picks a Pumpkin House as well. You can see and read about the wonderful things she’s doing at



Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2007

Like Tomi Ungerer’s The Three Robbers (1962), these are little urban girl thieves with good hearts. Jo is strong, Flo is loud and Mo is quick, and these special talents serve them well. When no one comes on their street anymore, they decide to rob the old lady up the hill. They are shamed when they discover that, despite her poverty, she is happy to share. So they parlay their special talents to provide for the old lady who then offers a special talent of her own. With a generous font, short sentences and a predictable, but entertaining plot, emerging readers will find the perfect balance between interesting story and easily decoded words. Detailed and expressive pencil sketches, especially the sassy body language and the chastised faces of the robbers, define each page with just the right amount of visual information. A terrific offering for new readers. (Fiction. 6-9)

School Library Journal Blog (Practically Paradise, by Diane Chen), Nov. 10, 2007 
4 young readers bk 4 

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…

Read the full review at the School Library Journal Blog


Using Three Little Robbers to Teach about Service 

Three Little Robbers is a fun book all on its own, but it can also form the basis of a discussion on right choices and serving others. Use questions like these to discuss and brainstorm ways students can help others, especially the elderly.

1. What talents did Jo, Flo and Mo have?
2. How did they use their talents in the beginning of the book?
3. How did they plan to use them to rob the old lady?
4. Why didn’t they rob the old lady?
5. How did Jo use her strength to help the milkmaid? How could you use your strength to help someone? (picking things up, pulling weeds, opening doors, collecting canned food and carrying it to the food bank…)
6. How did Flo use her loudness to help? How could you use your voice to help someone? (Sing or recite a poem to entertain lonely people at a retirement or senior center, read to someone…)
7. How did Mo use her quickness to help? How could you use your quickness to help someone? (Look for chances to help and take them quickly, run errands, take a card or flowers to a neighbor or friend…)
8. Jo, Flo and Mo put their things together to help the old lady. What could we do together to help old people? (Visit, sing or tell poems or stories, make cards for hospital trays or rest home residents…)