Gawain the goose is really devoted to King Basil the bear and so he takes his job as Chief Guard of the Royal Treasury seriously. When rubies, then gold ducats, and finally the world-famous Kalikak diamond vanish from the treasure house, there is no way to account for the disappearances. Only Gawain and the King have keys Woe and misery must be borne--by Gawain, by King Basil and the entire community, as well as by the real thief--before the goose's good name is restored. Brought to trial, Gawain escapes from his faithless friends into lonely self-exile. Now the thief, burdened by guilt, sees that the right thing must be done and determines, heroically, to do it. (Setting all this straight is no small job for one mouse, even such a mouse as Derek.) William Steig's many admirers will find in The Real Thief a book worthy of standing beside "Dominic" and" Amos and Boris."
Steig's captivating style and tongue-in-cheek humor bring to life an endearing set of animal characters with some extremely human foibles. "Booklist" Impossible to resist. "Kirkus Reviews" In this age of poorly thought out endings to books, it's a treat to end with one of Steig's many stunning last lines, this one from "The Real Thief," which he singled out as his favorite among his books: There was peace and harmony in the kingdom once again, except for the little troubles that come up every so often even in the best of circumstances, since nothing is perfect.' "Los Angeles Times""
William Steig (1907-2003) was a cartoonist, illustrator and author of award-winning books for children, including "Shrek!, " on which the DreamWorks movies are based. Steig was born in New York City. Every member of his family was involved in the arts, and so it was no surprise when he decided to become an artist. He attended City College and the National Academy of Design. In 1930, Steig's work began appearing in "The New Yorker," where his drawings have been a popular fixture ever since. He published his first children's book, "Roland the Minstrel Pig," in 1968. In 1970, Steig received the Caldecott Medal for "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble." His books for children also include "Dominic"; "The Real Thief"; "The Amazing Bone," a Caldecott Honor Book; "Amos Boris," a National Book Award finalist; and "Abel's Island" and "Doctor De Soto," both Newbery Honor Books. Steig's books have also received the Christopher Award, the Irma Simonton Black Award, the William Allen White Children's Book Award, and the American Book Award. His European awards include the Premio di Letteratura per l'infanzia (Italy), the Silver Pencil Award (the Netherlands), and the Prix de la Fondation de France. On the basis of his entire body of work, Steig was selected as the 1982 U.S. candidate for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Illustration and subsequently as the 1988 U.S. candidate for Writing. Stieg also published thirteen collections of drawings for adults, beginning with "About People" in 1939, and including "The Lonely Ones," "Male/Female," "The Agony in the Kindergarten," and "Our Miserable Life." He died in Boston at the age of 95.