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author / illustrator: Ziggy Hanaor / Benjamin Phillips

ages: 7+

72 pages 

19 x 24 cm

hardback with quarter-binding



sold: German, Italian, Simplified Chinese

Alte Zachen, Old Things

  • Rights represented for: Dutch, French, German, The Baltics and Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Russia


    • Shortlisted for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration 2023.
    • Long-listed for the 2023 UKLA Book Awards for Children’s Fiction.
    • 2023 White Ravens Catalogue


    A beautifully illustrated and presented intergenerational graphic novel that follows 11-year-old Benji and his elderly grandmother, Bubbe Rosa, as they traverse Brooklyn and Manhattan, gathering the ingredients for a Friday night dinner.


    Bubbe’s relationship with the city is complex – nothing is quite as she remembered it and she feels alienated and angry at the world around her. Benji, on the other hand, looks at the world, and his grandmother, with clear-eyed acceptance. As they wander the city, we catch glimpses of Bubbe’s childhood in Germany, her young adulthood in 1950s Brooklyn, and her relationships; first with a baker called Gershon, and later with successful Joe, Benji’s grandfather. Gradually we piece together snippets of Bubbe’s life, gaining an insight to some of the things that have formed her cantankerous personality. The journey culminates on the Lower East Side in a moving reunion between Rosa and Gershon, her first love. As the sun sets, Benji and his Bubbe walk home over the Williamsburg Bridge to make dinner.

    This is a powerful, affecting and deceptively simple story of Jewish identity, of generational divides, of the surmountability of difference and of a restless city and its inhabitants.


    Alte Zachen expands our understanding of the gulf that can exist between generations, particularly those divided by catastrophe. To outsiders, Benji’s Bubbe is just a crabby old lady. To the boy, and eventually to us, she becomes a vulnerable figure deserving of great tenderness.” Wall Street Journal


    The graphic novel format brilliantly allows us to see Bubbe in both her present and her past, allowing the reader to better understand her in all her cranky, opinionated grandeur, along with her sweet, caring grandson, Benji. A wonderful intergenerational story about the value of old things.” - Marissa Moss, Children's Book Author & Illustrator




    Ziggy Hanaor is a publisher and writer. This is her first graphic novel. By the same author: Gory Rory Fangface Needs a Kiss, The Egg Incident, The Pocket Chaotic, I Am a Potato, Snail Trail, Special Delivery, Alex & Alex

    Benjamin Phillips works in various mediums, straddling the disciplines of illustration and fine art. From his studio in Hastings, Benjamin finds inspiration in human interaction, the humour and turmoil of everyday life and the joy of repetition. His clients include New York Times, Penguin Random House, Ebury Press and the British Council.


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