Tiara enjoys the laughter and warmth in her mother’s millinery shop, but when a store with lower-priced hats comes to town, Tiara must find a way to help her mother get her spark—and her customers—back.
“We can’t eat dreams,” Momma tells Daddy and Tiara as they pack up the hat studio and her hopes. Because she can no longer sell hats, Momma accepts a job as an art teacher at Tiara’s school, Height Elementary (a nod, perhaps, to activist Dorothy I. Height, renowned for her hats). Tiara encourages her mother to begin making hats again, but Momma is not ready to talk about or work with hats. One Friday afternoon, in an art class, however, Tiara and the other children convince Momma to allow them to make hats. When Momma helps Tiara’s friend Matti adjust hers, Tiara has an idea that just might remind Momma of the passion she had for hat-making and the joy her hats brought to so many. With this touching tale of tradition and can-do spirit, Lyons interweaves an important element of the African American experience into a well-told story. Tadgell’s illustrations are mostly pastels with punches of bright color, especially on the hats, and have a pleasant dreamlike quality.The author’s note provides background on the African American hat tradition, including a mention of Crowns, by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry (2000).
A cheerful story about a spirited girl who saves the day. What could be better than that?(Picture book. 4-8)