Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: The Story of Hanukkah Howie

The Story of Hanukkah Howie
Publisher:   Peanut Butter Publishing
ISBN 978-1-59849-108-1
Retail $18
Reviewed by David Broughton 

The Story of Hanukkah Howie was written by Jan Dalrymple and brilliantly illustrated by her husband Bob. When I received the book for review, I was instantly amazed by its high quality. From the cover to the last page, it's first class, all the way, made to last for generations. The story teaches many lessons, in a subtle way, the main theme being acceptance, both of others, and one's own uniqueness. Howie has a peculiar problem, discovered early in his life, his hair spikes up for eight days a year, always during Hanukkah, (also called the Festival of Lights.) His hair mimics the Menorah, a candleholder used in the celebration, but he fails to notice this fact until later. Exact use of the Menorah (Hanukkiya) varies, but that's not the point of this sweet little book. For years as he grows up, Howie tries to hide what his hair does, but finally comes to accept it … I'll leave how this comes about for you to enjoy when you get the book.

One might think The Story of Hanukkah Howie is only for children being raised in the Hebrew faith, but that's not how I see it. The lesson of acceptance, both of other people and their traditions, and of one's self, are important for all children, and many adults to learn. I had the book checked by friends that are of the Hebrew faith, and by clergy of both Christian and Hebrew doctrines, all gave their approval of the book and the lessons it teaches. If there's one flaw in the way this book is presented, it's that the cover doesn't feature Howie, the main character. Is that a flaw? Well, maybe, maybe not, that's only one reviewer's viewpoint. Kudos to Jan and Bob Dalrymple, The Story of Hanukkah Howie is a well-written, brilliantly illustrated book that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

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