The robbery by Joaquin Camp

cover image

Joaquin Camp's colourful marker illustrations are youthful, simple and all kinds of wonderful. Three robbers, beautifully depicted without mouths and thereby allowing amazing expression through eyes and body posture, are off to rob a bank. Thief 1, Thief 2 and Thief 3 begin to dig and the reader is treated to lots of below-ground glimpses into their tunnel work. The illustration of their planned tunnel and the cross-section of the bank building showing the sleeping guard and the piles of money in the safe is particularly pleasing.

There is some lovely humour within the individual character traits of the three thieves, as well as in where their digging takes them. For something so simple as digging they manage to get it all very wrong. They end up in the middle of a wrestling match, on stage with an orchestra and in China. They even dig all the way through the sea and come up on a boat, which children will love for its absurdity. The reader is also privy to what they don't see in the dirt close to their tunnels: dinosaur bones and a mole family burrow. In the end they have all had quite enough of digging and Thief 3 says 'What if the treasure doesn't exist? What if it's a metaphor and it's actually in our hearts instead?'. The reader is again privy to what the thieves can't see - they are super close to the bank. But the thieves are done and they're off home to enjoy time with all their friends they found along the way. There is oodles of visual information here to support the text and to add extra layers of meaning. It is also a shining example of how simple illustrative techniques can convery great emotion and movement. The text is also short and snappy, giving it a crisp wittiness. 

Themes: Humorous stories, Friendship.

Nicole Nelson