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Diverse Books For All Ages

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Wear Your Crown: Tiara's Hat Parade Honors a Beautiful African American Tradition (Cover Reveal)

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

We're excited to reveal the cover of Tiara's Hat Parade, a beautiful children's book that celebrates an inspiring African American tradition.

Title: Tiara's Hat Parade Author: Kelly Starling Lyons Illustrated by: Nicole Tadgell

Publishes: April 2020 Ages: 4-8 years Order it: Here


Tiara's momma has a gift for making hats. Ladies come from all over to visit her studio and try on her creations. She makes fancy hats for church, dazzling hats for special occasions, and majestic hats to make you stand tall and proud! But when Momma has to close down the business and set her dreams aside, Tiara can see how sad she is. Can Tiara help Momma understand how much her hats mean to the community and bring back the magic? This heartwarming story about mothers and daughters pays tribute to an inspiring African American tradition. Tiara's Hat Parade debuts April 2020. It's published by Albert Whitman & Company.


We're excited about Tiara's Hat Parade. We love children's books that expose readers to history and tradition in a fun and engaging way. We look forward to sharing the special African American tradition of donning beautifully elaborate hats when stepping out on the town, attending a special occasion, or heading to the church house to praise the Lord.


"A deeply rooted tradition in the African American community, wearing flamboyant hats to church has both spiritual and cultural significance. The centuries-old custom continues to flourish throughout the Southern U.S. and in strong black Northern communities, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit and Harlem. The dress hats, which are beautifully fabricated and extravagantly decorated, have evolved into an art form and an important cultural symbol.

Prior to the 20th century, most American Christian women commonly followed Corinthians 1:11 and covered their heads in worship. For early African Americans, God's house was not only a sanctuary of hope and salvation in a brutal world, but it was also one of the few places where they were allowed to hold important positions of leadership. Sunday was thus a day of worship and celebration. African American women traded in their drab aprons and knotted head wraps for brightly colored dresses and straw hats gaily decorated with fresh flowers, ribbons and feathers. These heaven-reaching hats were designed to "catch God's eye" in hopes He would hear their prayers.

Elaborately adorned headdresses hold enormous significance in African rituals. American slaves continued the custom of weaving geometric designs, attaching feathers and adding beaded jewelry to straw and fiber hats before attending church. In addition to instilling pride and confidence, the hats remind the wearers to carry themselves like queens. Culturally, church hats became a strong symbol of the ability to triumph over hardships. Worn with the head held high, African American women strut with "hattitude" while sporting these crowns."



Kelly Starling Lyons grew up in Pittsburgh. She is the award-winning author of several books for children including Ellen's Broom, a Coretta Scott King illustrator award book, Hope's Gift, and One More Dino on the Floor. She lives in North Carolina. Find Kelly:

Blog: The Brown Bookshelf (ALA Great Website for Kids)

Kelly's New Releases: Going Down Home With Daddy (April 2019) Jada Jones: Dancing Queen (June 2019) Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations (August 2019) Coming Soon from Kelly: Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon (January 2020) Tiara's Hat Parade (April 2020)

Illustrator Nicole Tadgell


Nicole Tadgell is the award winning illustrator of more than twenty books and has numerous educational pieces published. “I love working on children’s books,” Nicole says. “Sometimes I pretend I’m the kid in the book, and do the things they do in the story to really get a feel for each book.”  Nicole also visits schools, gives lectures and conducts workshops.

Nicole's work has been honored by the Children's Africana Book Award, the Americas Award, the Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award, and Growing Good Kids Award.

When she's not drawing, Nicole enjoys practicing Tai Chi and watching Doctor Who. She lives in Massachusetts. Find Nicole at her website:



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