Everyone in the brownstone on Hester Street is preparing for Hanukkah. A charming, entertaining illustration on page one allows the reader to peek into various windows as the author describes the preparations: in one apartment latkes are frying, another shows a menorah being prepared, and in yet another, Hannah Hope Hartman is practicing for her holiday singing performance. The vivid textual and illustrative depictions perfectly set the scene and give a young reader an excellent feel for how Hanukkah is celebrated.
Suddenly, Hannah comes down with an unrelenting case of the hiccups. She is afraid she won’t be able to perform her song unless they subside — but they last all eight days of Hanukkah. Many clever remedies are suggested and tried, but nothing works. Hannah, determined to perform, finds a creative way to mask them on stage, and her performance is successful despite her fears.
The book offers a lighthearted but important lesson about perseverance, and encourages children who are anxious about overcoming obstacles.