Nathan's Hanukkah Bargain

Overview

Nathan has carefully saved his quarters and now he has five dollars—a king's ransom. There are many things Nathan could buy with his money—a new sled or a robot that changes shape—but the only thing that Nathan wants is a menorah of his very own.

Determined to find the perfect menorah, Nathan and his grandfather set out to visit the nearby shops. There are many nice menorahs in each shop. One even has a green enamel one with twisting branches. Another shop has a pocket-sized ...

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Overview

Nathan has carefully saved his quarters and now he has five dollars—a king's ransom. There are many things Nathan could buy with his money—a new sled or a robot that changes shape—but the only thing that Nathan wants is a menorah of his very own.

Determined to find the perfect menorah, Nathan and his grandfather set out to visit the nearby shops. There are many nice menorahs in each shop. One even has a green enamel one with twisting branches. Another shop has a pocket-sized menorah that holds birthday candles. None of these are what Nathan has dreamed of, and they all cost much more than five dollars.

Disappointed, Nathan is about to give up the search when his grandfather explains how he bargained with sidewalk peddlers when he was a boy. This sparks Nathan's imagination, and when he spies his perfect menorah in the window of a junk shop, he wonders if bargaining may be just the right way to secure his treasure.

Jacqueline Dembar Greene is the author of thirty books for young readers. She has written novels, picture books, nonfiction, poems, and short stories, and two of her historical novels were named Sydney Taylor Honor Books. She lives in Wayland, Massachusetts.

Judith Hierstein earned a bachelor of arts degree in art education from the University of Iowa. Now retired, she is a former art teacher, having taught art at all levels, from elementary art to digital arts in high school. She is the illustrator of the Toby Belfer Series, The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving from A to Z and Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House all published by Pelican. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Nathan's unsuccessful search for a Hanukkah menorah takes a new turn when his Grandpa teaches him about old-fashioned bargaining.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

Nathan wants to buy his own menorah, but when he goes shopping with his grandfather, he finds that they are either too expensive or not quite right. After the man reminisces about dealing with peddlers in the old days, they find a silver menorah in a junk shop. Although the ending is rather pat, the story has a straightforward appeal that many kids will appreciate, and Grandpa (who stands aside to let Nathan do the haggling himself) is a gem. The bargaining session itself is realistic and entertaining (Nathan "eyed the man coolly. 'It has a dent.' 'Dent, shment,' the shopkeeper mocked. 'It's pure silver. It's a steal at ten dollars'"). Although the facial features and expressions are sometimes a bit exaggerated, the full-spread illustrations do a good job of complementing the text. A short afterword explains the holiday and the role of the menorah. While this story is only tangentially about Hanukkah, it is a good intergenerational selection for larger or specialized collections.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589804548
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/22/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

A former elementary school teacher, Judith Hierstein now teaches high school graphic and media arts. She has illustrated several children's books for Pelican including the Toby Belfer Series and The American Revolution A to Z, Nathan's Hanukkah Bargain, Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House, and The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving from A to Z. She lives in Tuscon, Arizona.

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