Hanukkah, Shmanukkah!

Hanukkah, Shmanukkah!

by Esmé Raji Codell, Leuyen Pham, LeUyen Pham
     
 

Old Scroogemacher was as sour as a pickle and had a tongue like horseradish. He was a tyrant to the poor workers in his waistcoat factory, and even on the last night of Hanukkah, he had the nerve to set the clocks back. What a shtunk. When his nephew Moshe protests, Scroogemacher laughs. "Hanukkah, shmanukah," he says. "It's just another night to me."Oy vey iz mir,… See more details below

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Overview

Old Scroogemacher was as sour as a pickle and had a tongue like horseradish. He was a tyrant to the poor workers in his waistcoat factory, and even on the last night of Hanukkah, he had the nerve to set the clocks back. What a shtunk. When his nephew Moshe protests, Scroogemacher laughs. "Hanukkah, shmanukah," he says. "It's just another night to me."Oy vey iz mir, was he wrong! Who would have thought that not one, not two, but THREE ghostly rabbis would visit him that night? As Scroogemacher travels back and forth with his wise spirits from the time of the Maccabees, to the present-day tenements and then on to the wonders and horrors of the future, he begins to understand that some good can happen from a little remembering. Especially on Hanukkah, Shmanukkah.But do the rabbis manage to turn Scroogemacher into a mensch? Can a leopard change his spots? So you'll read the book, you want that I tell you everything right here?

Editorial Reviews

Lori Smith
If this Hanukkah tale reaches further than Dickens's original, it is also achieves less.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Taking her inspiration from A Christmas Carol, Codell (Sahara Special) spins out the journey of Scroogemacher, a Jewish sweatshop owner in the early 20th century. His guides are the Rabbis of Hanukkah Past, Present and Future-the last, much to Scroogemacher's amazement, being a woman. The text-heavy tale wears its lefty heart a bit proudly on its sleeve, but moves along briskly, thanks to the author's enthusiasm for Yiddishkeit (there's a glossary at the back) and Pham's (Big Sister, Little Sister, reviewed Aug. 22) burnished, emotionally heightened realistic paintings. Jewish families who believe the line between Hanukkah and Christmas is already too blurry may balk at the premise. But this is funny, fresh and perceptive. Ages 5-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Dicken's A Christmas Carol finds a whole new expression in the hands of Esme, who rewrites the Christmas classic with the voice and humor of Jewish tradition. Woven into this long read-aloud story are elements and history of the holiday and the early twentieth century. The hero is Old Scroogemacher. He mistreats his immigrant workers until he is visited by the Rabbi of Hanukkah Past, who reminds him of the origins of the holiday. Then the Rabbi of Hanukkah Present lets him see the crowded tenements where his employees live. Finally, the Rabbi of Hanukkah Future clues him into current labor practices and shows him choices for his nephew Moshe's future. Yiddish phrases abound. There is much humor along the way in this story made for reading aloud. 2005, Hyperion, Ages 6 to 10.
—Susie Wilde
Kirkus Reviews
Codell borrows the plot of A Christmas Carol for this version set in the tenements and factories of New York City in the early 20th century. Scroogemacher is the transported Scrooge character, with his own waistcoat factory and a beholden nephew named Moshe, and the time is the last night of Hanukkah. Instead of three ghosts, Scroogemacher is visited by the Rabbi of Hanukkah Past, who explains the history of the celebration; the Rabbi of Hanukkah Present, who forces Scroogemacher to relive his own journey from Europe to New York; and the Rabbi of Hanukkah Future, a woman who shows Scroogemacher what today's society will be like. Lots of history, Jewish customs, Yiddish expressions and the entire plot of A Christmas Carol are all squeezed in along with full-page and spot illustrations that give the characters even more personality. Dickens purists may wince, but many others will find this effort quite an acceptable way to introduce or review the history behind the holiday. (glossary, bibliography, author's note, illustrator's note) (Fiction. 7-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786851799
Publisher:
Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:
09/01/2005
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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