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The Jewish immigrant experience in the early 1900s is touchingly and joyfully portrayed in this picture book based on the author's own grandfather.
Growing up in a shtetl in Russia, Nathan is always singing, and when he hears a famous opera soloist perform in a nearby town one day, he realizes that music could be his future. But he'll need to travel far from his loved ones and poor village in order to pursue that cherished goal. With his family's support he eventually journeys all the way to New York City, where hard work and much excitement await him. His dream is coming true, but how can he be fully happy when his family is all the way across the ocean?
About the Author
Leda Schubert received a bachelor's degrees from Brandeis, a master's degree from Harvard's School of Education, and an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College, where she is now on the faculty. She has worked as a teacher, librarian, and library consultant, has served on the Caldecott, Arbuthnot, and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committees, and has written many books for children. She lives in Vermont with her husband and their dogs.
Maya Ish-Shalom is from Tel Aviv, Israel. She graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, and has created illustrations for newspapers and magazines, book covers, and packaging. Nathan's Song is her first picture book.
“Leda Schubert’s memories of her grandfather, a Russian with a wonderful voice, give warmth to a picture book that recapitulates the story of Jewish immigration to New York at the turn of the 20th century.” —Wall Street Journal
"[M]uch of the text’s tone is light, with the feel of a family story . . . Ish-Shalom’s expansive digital illustrations, with their bright palette and simple shapes, include frequent musical notes and depict a cheerful, diverse early-twentieth-century New York. A welcome positive tale about a Jewish immigrant’s experience." —Horn Book
"The author recounts what is loosely her grandfather’s journey to America with love and great affection . . . The graphically striking artwork is brightly colored in blues, yellows, and oranges and fills the pages with dancing figures and city buildings. Families may follow this story with tales of their own American journeys . . . A warm and nostalgic family remembrance." —Kirkus
"Ish-Shalom’s illustrations lead readers’ eyes through the portholes of a large ship, or across docks and city streets, in colorful art that finds contrasts and details of sharply defined and solid characters . . . This title pays tribute to courageous individuals, with an underlying message of the unbroken connection of family love." —School Library Journal
"Schubert bases her tale on her grandfather’s experiences . . . simplified figures, sharp as paper cutouts in bright crayon eight-pack colors, composed into scenes that occasionally tip the hat to Marc Chagall and Fiddler on the Roof." —BCCB