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Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later): 10/10/16
Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard is based on an actual event, where a hat was blown into a duck pond and needed rescuing by a dog named Gretchen. It's one of those human moments that make the perfect seed for a special story.
Aunt Flossie has a vast collection of hats. All colors. All styles. All of them come with a story. She lets her nieces and nephews wear them when they come to visit. And afterwards they help her make crab cakes.
On a particularly special day they go to the park. Aunt Flossie wears a favorite hat but the wind blows it into the pond. No one can get it out but everyone knows how sentimentally special the hat is. Thank goodness for a dog who loves to swim!
I read the book for purely sentimental reasons. I had a grandmother nicknamed named Flossie by her siblings who also had a variety of interesting collections. While my Flossie wasn't a hat collector, a trip to her house usually involved playing with her old stuff, hearing a story to go with the treasures we found. The day ended with her making a snack or feeding us something she had made the day before. While she didn't make crab cakes, she did make an amazing shrimp cocktail.