Hooray for Henry Holden!

By Lauren Hagedorn

The title is inspired by a children's book called Hooway for Wodney Wat, which tells the story of a rat named Rodney who has a speech impediment and can't pronounce his Rs. All of his classmates make fun of him until one day, he becomes the hero of the school. A super mean, bossy guinea pig comes to town and wrecks havoc on the school until it's Rodney's turn to be Simon in a game of "Simon Says," and Rodney directs his classmates, "Go West!" Since his classmates are familiar with his mispronunciation of Rs, they all fall into a heaping pile to rest while the evil guinea pig marches west, never to return again.

One day during reading time in Ms. Reuther's kindergarten classroom at Club Boulevard, Henry had a book in front of him with a picture of a rat on it. I asked him if he wanted to read to me and he said oh so politely, "I'm sorry, but I can't read yet." So instead, I asked him to tell me the names of the animals I pointed to on each page…when I pointed to the rat, he said excitedly, "WAT!" and I knew right away, I had a title for my project. Henry is my hero. He restores my faith in the world and makes me excited about the future. He is wise beyond his years and I love him immensely.