Alte Zachen: old things, Ziggy Hanaor, illustrated by Benjamin Phillips
Publication year: 2022
Media class: Hardback
Publisher: Cicada Books, 2022
Notes: This graphic novel 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.