Mommy Has A Tattoo
I am not a mommy. But I do have a tattoo - in fact, I have two. I know mommies who have tattoos. And I know women who someday will be mommies with tattoos. So last week when Blogher Contributing Editor Karen Rani mentioned this book in an email I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. When neither my local bookstores nor my library had it a friend sent it to me (thanks Denise!).
Mommy Has A Tattoo is the story of a little boy named James. James is scared of their new neighbour, who he calles the Tattooed Man. The Tattooed Man has full sleeves of tattoos and he even has one on his neck. Then his older sister Sarah tells him that Mommy has a tattoo too! James cannot believe it and he's certain he's never seen it. He and Sarah go outside to ask Mommy about her tattoo but the Tattooed Man is still there and he's still scared of him. When Mommy sees him she introduces James to Mr. Too (aka the Tattooed Man) and his dog Tattoo. When James seems wary they start talking about Mommy's tattoo and James gets to see it and touch it. After that James isn't scared of Mr. Too or tattoos anymore.
The story of how this book came to be is interesting. You can read it on the book's website but the condensed version is that the author, Phil Padwe, noticed when his (tattooed) friends started having kids there was a serious lack of baby and children's gifts that represented them. To quote the website, "We saw the opportunity for a new kind of book because we realize our generation is producing a new kind of parent."
When I was a kid tattoos were a taboo subject. I knew people who had them but they were definitely under the list of things we were to not discuss, stare at and certainly not to touch. It was in my teens, in my corner of the world at least, that tattoos seemed to have experienced a revival. I had one less than a month after leaving for university and got my second less than 6 months after that (a Happy Valentine's Day gift to my single self). I know more people my age that have tattoos than don't.
I do not often read books directed a young children. I currently only have one small child that I buy books for but I've mostly stuck to buying her the entire collection of Robert Munsch books (grew up with him, love him). But it seems that I've bought her almost every Robert Munsch book that exists and am now on the lookout for other good children's book and it's a like diving into a whole new world. But if I hadn't already bought all her Christmas gifts (and I'm sure to be yelled at over the quantity as it is) I'd certainly be adding this book to to her pile. And as more and more of my friends move toward starting their families I can see this book becoming a regular in baby shower baskets.
And if Daddy is the one with the tattoo keep an eye out for Daddy Has A Tattoo near Father's Day, 2007.