About the Book
Have your ever had a bad hair day? Well, imagine eight bad hair days in a row -- and at just the wrong time. That's what happens to baby Howie as his mother Hannah is planning on showing off her new baby boy at parties during the winter holidays.
In The Story of Hanukkah Howie, written by Jan Dalrymple with delightfully playful words and rhyme -- and illustrated with fun, colorful drawings by Bob Dalrymple, the fanciful tale begins with the day baby Howie wakes up with 2 spikes of hair. There was"...one in the middle, the next over one ear".
It was impossible to tame the spikes and to Hannah's dismay each day an additional spike appears. By day eight there are "... nine spikes in all, four at right, four at left, one in center so tall". Hannah gradually realizes that Howie's hair looks like a menorah -- the nine-candled centerpiece for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. But just when Hannah wonders what she can do, Hanukkah ends and the spikes disappear.
Was that it? Was it only a peculiar one-time event? Not a chance. Each year at Hanukkah, Howie's hair springs into spikes. Since they are impossible to control, over the years both Hannah and Howie search for possible remedies. Readers learn "...the only solution that seemed to be there was for Howie to cover his very strange hair."
It isn't until Howie is a young adult and out on his own that he discovers perhaps there is a reason for his very strange hair. One day he happens upon a Hanukkah celebration where everyone is sad because they are missing their grandpa. Howie realizes that he was destined to bring joy and hope to this family. From that day on he is proud to be "Hanukkah Howie".
The message for readers and listeners from 4 to 94 is that through acceptance of the differences in ourselves and others, we can find comfort, happiness and hope.
My Take on the Book
This book is a Hanukkah story told in rhyme, but with a slight twist as there seems to be a mystery about a little baby born named Howard Austin, Howie. Howie develops unusual spikes in his hair , one day at a time, for nine days in December. His parents try to cover them up and are anxious about the reaction of others.
Once December is over, Howie's hair returns to normal. This happens every December during the holiday of Hanukkah. They finally realize Howie's hair resembles the menorah that is displayed each Hanukkah.
It is not until Howie is an adult that he realizes he has a special gift. He is delivering gifts and finds out there is a man who grew up with the same hair situation. Howie finds out that he is special. His bag of gifts hold just enough for everyone in the family he is visiting.
The story tells of a young boy's adaptation and acceptance of his hair situation. He realizes his difference is a special gift.
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