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RICHARD SIMON and TANYA SIMON are a husband-and-wife writing team. Richard is chair of the language department at an independent school and is co-author of a successful off-Broadway play. Tanya is co-author of the children’s novel Zora and Me, winner of a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. They live in Westchester, New York. Oskar and the Eight Blessings is their first picture book.
MARK SIEGEL has illustrated a number of picture books, including the Texas Bluebonnet winner Seadogs with Lisa Wheeler and the Siebert Honor book To Dance, with his wife, Siena Cherson Siegel. He wrote and illustrated the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Sailor Twain, Or the Mermaid in the Hudson. He lives in New York with his family.
OSKAR AND THE EIGHT BLESSINGS
Roaring Brook Press – September 8, 2015
A refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of Kristallnacht, Oskar arrives by ship in New York City with only a photograph and an address for an aunt he has never met. It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, 1938. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his new home in the north of the city, he passes experiences the city’s many holiday sights, and encounters it various residents. Each offers Oskar a small act of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way to a new life in the new world. This is a heartwarming, timeless picture book.
Praise for OSKAR AND THE EIGHT BLESSINGS
2015 National Jewish Book Award for Children’s Literature
“Siegel’s smoky, cinematic art conveys the promise of New York and the hopefulness of Hanukkah with great emotion.”―The New York Times Book Review
“Mr. Siegel gives Oskar such large and luminous eyes that we ought to be inoculated against tears—no child is so winsome in real life—yet, somehow, we aren’t.”―The Wall Street Journal
“Blending historic and imagined events, this magical parable eloquently models empathy, kindness and the true spirit of giving.“―San Francisco Chronicle
“Eloquently rendered in art and text. . . The descriptive prose has lyrical touches, while vibrantly accented, softly-shaded illustrations incorporate varying perspectives and historical details.”―Booklist, starred review
“A wonderful, heartwarming picture book for any library at any time of year.”―School Library Journal, starred review
“Wonderfully original in every way.”―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Siegel’s paneled illustrations make anything seem possible. . . They glow. People used to say that the streets of America were paved with gold, and this book almost makes you believe it.”―Kirkus Reviews
“You couldn’t ask for a lovelier Hanukkah tale.“―Tablet Magazine, The Best Jewish Children’s Books of 2015
“Any child would be grateful to receive Oskar and the Eight Blessings, by Richard and Tanya Simon. Lavishly illustrated by Mark Siegel, the book portrays Oskar’s angst and wide-eyed wonder on illuminating, unforgettable spreads.”―The Missourian