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NATHAN’S HANUKKAH BARGAIN by Jacqueline Dembar Greene


by Jacqueline Dembar Greene & illustrated by Judith Hierstein

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-58980-454-8
Publisher: Pelican

With five dollars in quarters in his pocket, Nathan and his grandfather begin a quest to buy a traditional menorah, one with cups to hold oil rather than candles. In a lengthy text, together they explore a couple of stores, each offering a variety of choices from electric to modern artistic versions, all too pricey for Nathan’s budget. Grandpa laments the good old shopping days when bargaining was the norm. Spotting a traditional tarnished old silver menorah in the basement window of an antique shop, and taking a cue from his savvy Grandpa, Nathan takes a chance and drives a good bargain for his purchase. Hierstein’s realistic gouache paintings of a snowy urban outing bring a vivid authenticity to this intergenerational story of traditional values, respect and understanding. Yet, while these themes are genuine, Grandfather’s reminiscences of bargaining with old-style street peddlers seem out of sync with and unreflective of today’s comparatively hip population of boomer grandparents raised after World War II. Too bad. (Picture book. 5-8)