Tell Me A Tattoo Story
I can remember when tattoos were seen only on sailors and people
my mom and her friends called disreputable characters. Now this genre
of body art is much more mainstream. Parents with tats are in for a
real treat to share with daughters and sons: Alison McGhee's Tell Me
A Tattoo Story.
A dad is doing dishes when his very young son tugs at his
shirt. He tells him the stories behind his tattoos, starting with the
ones representing his favorite book his mom read to him and his
father's advice. The last one, the dad's favorite, commemorates the
birth of the son.
Eliza Wheeler's poignant illustrations beautifully complent the
text. The home scenes are tender and loving. Gotta love the one
where the dad does dishes while the mom writes. The flashbacks are
rich with context. The dad was raised by rural farming parents. His
longest trip ever was in the military. My favorite was of the day he
"met a pretty girl" in front of the appropriately dubbed Cafe de
This charming book works on so many levels. It depicts tats for
the picture book crowd at a time many parents and other adults sport
them. It also shows guys in the tender telling a story domain usually
inhabited by women. And the dad doing dishes while mom relaxes
picture is priceless.
On a personal note, a recent Wilson Center service project went really
well. A bunch of us cleaned up a lake beach that is popular with
local families and fisher folk. It was a sunny day and a number of
the beach recreational users were on hand to display an attitude of
gratitude for our work.
A great big shout out goes out to my fellow workers.
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