Clara Button and the magical hat day
Amy de la Haye – author
Emily Sutton – illustrater
V & A Publishing
At my first primary school, we had an Easter hat parade every year. I loved it. When I was seven, my Nana Wyn taught me how to make crepe paper roses. I can still see the rolls of pink and blue crepe paper, with their tails spilling out. Nana taught me how to pinch the bottom of one end of the paper and then stretch out the top, gathering the paper tightly, then carefully teasing out each layer to make roses. We pinned them onto a straw hat, with bits of tulle and ribbon from Nana’s stash. I didn’t win a prize but I thought my hat was beautiful.
Today I am going to a fancy lunch – spring racing attire expected. And my hat has tulle and flowers and beads and lace!
So in honour of fancy hats, I pulled out Miss 9’s beloved picture book, Clara Button and the magical hat day – perfect reading for three-six year-old milliners.
The story: Clara’s Granny Elsie had a special hat – which Clara’s brother Ollie broke. Clara’s mother takes her and Ollie to the Victoria and Albert museum, and Clara tucks the broken hat into her backpack. At the museum she is distracted by a trolley of hats, follows it and ends up in a room full of hats. She talks to the fashion curator and the hat doctor, who kindly fixes Granny Elsie’s hat. Once Mum and Ollie find her, they finish their magical hat day with hot chocolate and cake in the museum’s tearooms.
The highlights: I have to say, I do like Ollie, the annoying brother who breaks the hat and pretends to be bored at the museum, even though he secretly likes looking at the tigers and swords. And I love the illustrations of hats and buttons – the details are beautiful. And most of all, I love the idea of a magical hat day – here’s wishing all the fancy ladies at lunch today a magical one!