Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Girl with the Pigeon Tattoo

Becky’s in a book.  

I snubbed Becky after Eric Carle drew The Very Hungry Caterpillar on her forearm, but Harper Collins, Eva Talmadge, and Justin Taylor did not.

Check out pages 82-83 of The Word Made Flesh:

Cool tattoos are expected, but you could always browse the internet to check those out - it’s the stories behind the tattoos which make Word Made Flesh worth owning.

Eva Talmadge came to Books & Books for lunch with her mother a few months back.  Becky and Eva tried to get Mo Willems' original-drawing-made-permanent-via-tattoo of the Pigeon into the book, but the layout had already been finalized.  

Here it is anyway, for your enjoyment:

If Word Made Flesh is a hit (and if early Books & Books sales are any indication, it will be), I’m sure you’ll see the Pigeon in More Words Made Flesh: This Time It’s Personal.*

The Pigeon debuted at BEA 2010, and made Becky a minor celebrity in children’s book publishing.  She became Tattoo Girl.  She posed for pictures.  Everyone wanted to know which illustrator would be next.  

Turns out Lane Smith was next, with the Monkey from this year’s best picture book, It’s a Book.

Now who’s next?  If Becky could choose, Maurice Sendak would tour (which he adamantly does not) and she’d ask him to draw Max on her arm.  But it doesn’t work that way, and camping out on his doorstep won't happen any time soon.  A serendipitous combination of subject matter, access, willingness (one illustrator balked at drawing on flesh), and financial breathing room need to come together for these tattoos to happen.  

Whoever the next addition to the Mortal Art Project turns out to be, I’ll keep you posted.

* Title not final.  Or real.  Neither is Word Made Flesh II: Electric Boogaloo   

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