The Peddler's Gift

Overview

A young boy in turn-of-the-century rural Russia learns that appearances often are deceiving after he steals--then tries to return--a dreidel to the traveling peddler. Color illustrations throughout.

A young boy in turn-of-the-century rural Russia learns that appearances are often deceiving after he steals and then tries to return a dreidel to the traveling peddler Shnook.

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Overview

A young boy in turn-of-the-century rural Russia learns that appearances often are deceiving after he steals--then tries to return--a dreidel to the traveling peddler. Color illustrations throughout.

A young boy in turn-of-the-century rural Russia learns that appearances are often deceiving after he steals and then tries to return a dreidel to the traveling peddler Shnook.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The shtetl is also the setting for this atmospheric tale, which goes beyond Hanukkah in its poignantly handled themes about forgiveness. Narrator Leibush can't resist the temptation to pocket a dreidel that has fallen from the bags of a bumbling peddler, dubbed Shnook for his ineptitude. The lessons here are predictable (a repentant Leibush learns that the so-called simpleton is wise indeed), but Schur's (Sacred Shadows) colorful delivery and scene-setting give her message a fresh impact. Likewise, Root's (Hugh Can Do) watercolors make the quaintness of the shtetl secondary to the vulnerability of the characters. Ages 5-9. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Judy Chernak
Shimon, the peddler nicknamed Shnook by the children of Korovenko, would never make it in the world of sales today. Instead of trumpeting his wares, inflating their value, enticing poor housewives to buy what they couldn't afford, he simply spreads the contents of his pack on the table and quietly accepts whatever is offered, no matter what the true value of the goods selected. Instead of regaling the poor peasants with grand tales of the big city and the Czar's court while downing huge amounts of their scarce food, he heads for the synagogue to pray and seek shelter till the morning. What a simpleton! But young Leibush, who has been taught the ways of respect, enjoys the visits of this strange man. One night, he notices under the table a forgotten dreidel which he had coveted and succumbs to the temptation to keep it. It is then, in the darkness of a bitter storm, that his conscience propels him into discovering the true qualities of the man the village children mocked. The watercolor and pencil drawings are wonderful--wistful and warm without being sentimental. 1999, (orig.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
In rich, descriptive language, young Liebush evokes for us the late summer world of his turn-of-the-century Eastern European village. The arrival of a peddler is always exciting, but Simon, called Shnook, is not like all the rest. He never stays for supper, he loses or disparages his wares, he charges very little for his merchandise; folks joke that even his leaky fountain pens cried. Feeling that the simple fellow won't even notice, Liebush pockets a handsome Hanukkah dreidel before Shnook leaves. But then the guilt-stricken boy follows after him through a storm, to find a kind, wise, and forgiving peddler in the synagogue. Having learned his lesson, Liebush never belittles the peddler again. Root's low-key, detailed watercolor drawings parallel the humanistic telling in their creation of character. From the jacket/cover we are brought into the village with the peddler and his bag of goods. The dedication pages depict a rural landscape and the road to the village in a scene reminiscent of late Renaissance drawings. The illustrations create all the images of clothing, architecture, etc. needed to make us see, feel and even hear the rain of that hot, damp summer in the village of Korovenko. Originally published in different form as Shnook the Peddler by Dillon Press, Inc. 1999 (orig. 1985), Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Putnam Inc., Ages 5 to 9, $15.99. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803719781
  • Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.81 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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