In turn-of-the-century Poland, Malk's family prepares for a frugal holiday--it is not certain that, after buying eggs for the latkes and putting a coin in the charity box, there will be even one kopek left for playing the dreidel game. Then, after the blessing, an old peddler knocks at the door and comes in to provide a few kopeks, play and dance with the children, and--best of all--tell wonderful stories, especially about Elijah. In the morning, he is gone, leaving his pack full of books plus fine silks for Papa, who is a tailor. In awe, the family agree that they have received Elijah himself. Chwast illustrates this simple, engaging narrative with bold paintings in an austere, primitive style that well conveys the setting with the rich, deep colors of this dark time of year. A fine addition to holiday collections.