Book review: Tell Me a Tattoo Story, by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler

McGhee, Alison. Tell Me a Tattoo Story. Illus. Eliza Wheeler. Chronicle, 2016. $16.99. 32p. 9781452119373. Ages 4-7. P9Q9

McGhee Tattoo StoryAs a preschooler admires the tattoos that cover his father’s body, the man explains the history and memories of each—military service, the day that he met the pretty girl who he married, a book that he shared with the tyke’s mother, the instruction to “Be Kind,” and most important of all, according to the man, the date when the preschooler was born. The only voice in the picture book is that of the man, in the storytelling tradition of explaining personal experiences to small children in a way that demonstrates the love that he has for his family. India ink and watercolor illustrations are highlighted by the subtle colors of his memories. The book shows the love between father and son as well as the pride in an age-old tradition of tattooing.

April 2016 review by Nel Ward.

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