Monday, April 18, 2016

The Little Crooked Bookshelf

by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler

This week's pick is from cottager Kara LaReau.

What it's all about

A little boy asks his father to tell him about his tattoos. Each one has significance in Dad's life, especially the smallest tattoo, of a little heart with a very special date.

Why it's on The Little Crooked Bookshelf…

As ever, Alison McGhee tells a story that vibrates with emotional resonance, and Eliza Wheeler's lovely illustrations bring to life Dad's colorful tattoos and the stories behind them. 

My favorite lines…
"This one says 'Be kind.'
That's something my
dad used to tell me.
And I want to make sure
I always remember it."

My favorite illustration…

Why kids will love it…

It's a treat for children, who always seem eager to hear stories about parents' lives before they came along.  

Why grown-ups will love it…

It's a celebration of the special bond between parent and child that comes from storytelling. Parents might be inspired to share some of their own life stories with their little ones, whether they're connected to body art or not!


  1. Thanks, Kara! I just read this, and found it quite touching. I especially loved Eliza's tender illustrations and color palette. The last spread was my favorite :).

  2. Need some new fangled thots, ideers, ironclad iconoclasms? Look no firdr...

    VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI: As an ex-writer of the sassy, savvy, schizophenia we all go through in this lifelong demise, I just wanna help U.S. git past the whorizontal more!ass! we're in (Latin: words to [the] wise)...

    "This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Far beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find corpulent eloquence" (paraphrased). Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

    I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died, dear: you couldn't GET any moe curly, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girl passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

    "Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3

    Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

    Go git'm, girl. You're incredible. See you Upstairs. I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls

    PS Need some uncommon, unique, uncivilized names? Lemme gonna gitcha started, brudda:

    Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, Roman Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoon, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Martini Phoenix, Ivy Wool, Sower Wolf, Yankee Cooky, b9...

    God blessa youse
    -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL