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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-Library book. Used book in good condition. Some signs of wear to covers, spine, and page edges and corners.
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The Three Robbers Hardcover – March 21, 2009

28 customer reviews

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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"One bitter, black night," three ferocious highwaymen meet their match in a spunky orphan named Tiffany; Ungerer's bold, fanciful artwork, rendered primarily in black and deep blue tones, enliven this cautionary tale of foul deeds transmogrified. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Delightful and artistically nourishing." --The New York Times Book Review, December 21, 2008

"Ungerer is a wizard at whittling a story down to its smoothest, most streamlined essence, as shown in this reissued tale of a trio of ruthless highwaymen ... This master class in storytelling should be required reading not just for children, but current children's-book authors." --Cookie Magazine, November 2008

"Though he has never been much out of it, the spotlight seems to be shining particularly brightly right now on Mr. Ungerer ... Both Mr. Ungerer's approach and his visual style -- inspired by Saul Steinberg, with elements of George Grosz and Paul Klee -- seemed to have seeped into the DNA of children s literature." --The New York Times, July 27, 2008

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press Inc.; American edition (March 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714848778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714848778
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.4 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tomi Ungerer was born is Strasbourg in 1931, moved to the US in 1956 and now lives in Ireland. His first children's book "The Mellops go Flying" was published by Harper in 1957. This was to be the first in a series of very successful and unusual children's titles.

For a full biography see his official site -

Tomi is a prolific artist, author and illustrator and has been awarded a wide range of prizes, accolades and honours in recognition of his work including:

- Legion d'Honneur France (1990)
- Order of the Deutsches Bundesverdienstdreuz Germany (1993)
- National Prize for Graphic Arts France (1995)
- Hans Christian Andersen Prize for children's literature (1998)
- European Prize for Culture (1999)
- Officer of the Legion d'Honneur France (2000)
- Named Goodwill Ambassador for Childhood and Education of European Council (2003)
- Erich Käistner Literary Prize (2004)
- Awarded an honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Karlsruhe (2004)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 5, 2004
Format: Library Binding
Nope. I missed this one as a kid. It's funny, because though I clearly remember seeing images from this book on the walls of libraries, cut out in bookstores, and displayed proudly in textbooks, I never read it myself. And you know what? It's an absolutely wonderful book that I am repeatedly regretting and regretting not having read. This story is right up my alley, and it's an amazing tale. In effect, it is a book about the power of redemption and the simplicity of doing what is right, no matter how late in the game. Said author/illustrator Tomi Ungerer himself, "Whatever the color of money, it is never too late to make good use of it". For me, this book is the story of how to make the most of your goods while you've got `em.

The tale concerns itself with the doings of three fierce black-clad robbers. Outfitted with a blunderbuss, a pepper-blower, and a huge red axe, the three had a pretty good gig going. One robber would stop carriage horses with his pepper spray, another would stop the carriage completely by destroying the wheels with an axe, and the third would rob the passengers by holding them up with his blunderbuss. Honestly? I just like writing the word blunderbuss. That's a great word. Anyway, one day the men stop a carriage containing a small orphan on her way to live with a "wicked aunt". They rescue her and take her home to live with them. When the child asks them what they intend to do with all of their money, the men are stumped. Their solution is round up all the, "lost, unhappy, and abandoned children" they can find, buy a castle, and move in with all the children. In the end the kids grow up and build three tall high-roofed towers in honor of their foster fathers, the three robbers. The end.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
It's been years since I've read this book, but as I recall, it was one of the most popular childrens books in my entire elementary school (in the early 80's). It was almost impossible to find it on the shelf due to its popularity. The illustrations were wonderful and the book was fun. I recommend it highly.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Gutierrez on November 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I remember the Three Robbers as having a dark wonderful appeal and my kids immediately responded the same way I had. After the first reading there was silence and then the call "AGAIN!". There's nothing PC about this book. It's about robbers who kidnap a little girl. There is a gun and a red axe not to mention a pepper spray that is used on horses, but who cares about being PC. It's a great story. If your kid is like most kids I know, this book will soon be a well worn fav.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ...Loggie... on July 24, 2003
Format: Library Binding
The Three Robbers is a cute book about three robbers who transform into semi-respectable people. These robbers (like all robbers) robbed people for a living. This particular set of robbers robbed carriages.
One night the robbers make a mistake. Instead of stopping a carriage full of rich people with money or rich jewelry, they `stopped a carriage that had but one passenger, an orphan named Tiffany.' Well Tiffany was delighted, and since the robbers didn't know what else to do they took her home to their hide-out where she promptly turned their world upside down by asking them what they planned to do with their wealth.
Realizing that they were doing nothing with their horded wealth, and that this was really a waste, they decide to buy a castle and bring to it all the `lost, unhappy, and abandoned children they could find.' These children grow up and marry, but as a testament to their benefactors build three towers.
I realize that this summary doesn't make this book sound all that great, but I like it. Also this summary seems to completely conflict with the editorial review. The editorial review is not really one for this book. If you look closely it is really a review for `Crictor; Moon Man'. It only gives a passing mention to `The Three Robbers' at the very bottom. The illustrations are bold and more often than not the page is black and the writing white. The story is told in a style that endears the book to me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M.M.F. on September 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I just can't say enough about Tomi Ungerer and his books.
I don't really run across too many of his stories and growing up, Crictor and Zerelda's Ogre were the only ones I remember as a child.
But I work with children now and I'm always trying to share with them some of the books from my youth that I adored.
I search for Ungerer's books at the libraries, when ever I'm able to I hunt them down and read them so finding The Three Robbers was really a surprise for me.
(If you're in Berkeley or have the ability to get there, the main library has a wonderful selection of his works by the way)
The Three Robbers, This story is just a treat. The images are dark yet not scary and the story takes these "bad" men and shows that they are really not that bad. Yes, stealing is wrong, yes scaring people is wrong. But when you take orphans and offer them a home, in a pretty castle? that's so right.
The little boy I work with (he's three) just adored the story. So much so that I found I was retelling it from memory to the best of my ability for weeks after we'd initially read it in the library. In fact, we picked it up today and I had to read it four times before we left the library, stop once more on the way home to read it, and then read it again when we got home.
I strongly recommend this story to everyone. Really.

Update: This book is now being published again by Phaidon and while I'm glad it's back out on the market, The children and I were deeply saddened to find that they had altered some of the story. It's not a complete butchering but it was enough that several of the children noticed changes in the words. I still recommend the story though, it's truly wonderful.
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