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The Pinchers and the Diamond Heist

Authored by Anders Sparring, translated by Julia Marshall
Illustrated by Per Gustavsson
Published by Gecko Press

The Pinchers and the Diamond Heist is the first in a series of crime stories about a family of thieves who, in this story, decide to visit a diamond exhibition and steal the precious gold diamond – but not without breaking Grandma out of jail first!

Theo Pincher is not like the rest of his family. He is good at many things, including drawing, counting and walking his dog but he is not good at lying. His family believe that to get anywhere in life you have to be able to lie but whenever Theo tries, his eyes go glassy and he gets a stomach ache. One evening, when his parents go to the Diamond exhibition, leaving him and his sister Ellen alone, they decide to visit their Grandma in jail. It’s not long until Grandma decides to escape and together with her friend Cheater-Rita they go off in search of the gold diamond. With the help of some special cookies and plenty of tools they make it to the exhibition but to Theo’s disappointment he realises that his family are trying to steal the diamond. He comes up with a plan to stop them but in order for it to work, he has to lie. Will he be able to go through with it and will the diamond disappear?

The illustrations beautifully compliment the text and will give children much to discuss as will the quiz and activities at the back of the book which they can share with their friends, for example, ‘find your criminal name’, and the opportunity to ‘train your criminal mind’. It is a light-hearted, funny story which will be great for promoting reading for pleasure in schools and at home.

The Pinchers and the Diamond Heist will make a perfect ‘read aloud’ for Year 1 and Year 2 or an independent book for children who are beginning to read more lengthier texts. If it’s intended to be discussed at length, the character of Theo will provide opportunities to discuss the concept of lying and the subtle but important things he does throughout the story to try and make the best out of the situations they find themselves in.