Christmas is a season of giving, but for many children, including Howard B. Wigglebottom, it often becomes a season of getting instead. In Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Power of Giving, Howard loves getting new things, but he isn’t all that fond of sharing. When he sits down to write his letter to Santa, his mom tells him that he already has way more than he needs, but Howard doesn’t pay attention to her. When his mom tells him to pack warm clothes for a visit to cousins, Howard instead packs all his favorite toys–of which there are many! While waiting for the train, Howard’s over-stuffed bag comes loose and his toys dump all over the ground. He ends up missing the train while gathering them, and he’s left all alone.
Howard is lost and scared, wishing he could just be with his family again. He tumbles down a hill and is surrounded by a family of birds who think he’s Santa Bunny. All they want is a warm bed, some food, and someone to love them. Howard realizes that while he has so much, these poor birds have very little. He gives it some thought and revises his list to Santa to just include the birds’ wishes. Howard learns that giving IS better than getting after all, and everyone has a very merry Christmas.
While I’m a huge fan of all the Howard B. Wigglebottom books, I particularly loved Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Power of Giving because it’s about Christmas, my favorite time of the year. It is also very valuable because Jacob is going through the “gimme” phase, and he relates well to Howard. I needed a book that shared the spirit of the holidays without getting religious about it, because I’m Pagan and Jacob is completely non-secular at this point. I appreciate how well Howard Binkow got the message across by using the bird family to demonstrate that there are those who have nothing and just want a warm meal and someone to share it with during the holidays.
If you’ve read my previous reviews, you know that your child can watch animated versions of the Howard B. Wigglebottom books on the We Do Listen Foundation website for free. Now, you can also buy all ten hardcover books for just $50 in their shop. You can also purchase them individually for $6. This is a great deal, as they hardcover books are filled with wonderful illustrations, and they’re really very nice books to own.