By KENDRA SITTON Uptown News
North Park’s Katherine Hon has recently released a children’s book called “Mrs. Fluffernut’s Perfect Hat.” The book is dedicated to grandmothers everywhere and features one grandmother’s efforts to win a local hat contest with the help and ingenuity of her grandkids.
Hon has written a longstanding history column for Uptown News and is currently working on a book about the history of North Park. This beginning chapter book is her first foray into children’s literature though. Still, her history chops are evident in the pages as the book is illustrated in a collage style with photos from North Park, including the North Park Toyland Parade in 1955.
Despite the local photos, the book is not technically set in San Diego, but rather a fictional Persnickety Town. The newspaper clippings and photos seem like hidden Easter eggs grounding the story in reality, or rather in San Diego history.
“There are a lot of hidden history lessons in the book,” explained Hon. For instance, there is an historic photo of McKinley Elementary School that’s name in the book is Millard Fillmore Elementary School because the original name for University Ave. was ‘Fillmore’ for the 13th president when the area was mapped as University Heights in 1888.
The charming book is meant to be read out loud as a family. Although young readers will delight in the hijinx of the Finest Hat contest, it would be helpful to have an adult with them to help define the challenging vocabulary present in the chapter book.
“Mrs. Fluffernut’s Perfect Hat” is available for $10 from the author at email@example.com or at Verbatim Books, 3793 30th St.
— Kendra Sitton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.