You know when two people you like turn out to know each other, and you think, oh COOL but also WEIRD? That’s how I feel about a photo I saw of Channing Tatum dropping into Emma Straub’s Books Are Magic store in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, on Tuesday to promote his third children’s book, Sparkella and the Big Lie.
I’m a tough study of children’s books, and especially of celebrity-helmed children’s books, but, as previously noted, I think Tatum has hit something of a sweet spot, leaning into his single dadness and leveraging some of that youthfuljoie de vivre we all loved in films like Magic Mike and 21 Jump Street (the unrecognizable reboot) in his Sparkella series.
Tatum told part-time children’s book authors Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager (a leading voice on books, almost as powerful as Lit Hub) that he wrote the story thinking back to his daughter’s first really big lie that “ate her up,” after she stole a toy car from school and didn’t know how to take it back. “She thought I was gonna call the police,” he said, explaining that he promises she’ll never be in trouble if she tells the truth.
He sounds like a fun, good parent. The kind of guy who passed out drunk in the desert in a Snuggie and is friends with someone who got “SIT HERE” tattooed on his lip, but also knows how to set the kinds of boundaries with a child that make them feel safe. The kind of guy who likes to bring a little razzle dazzle to an independent bookstore.
Who said the literary bloke was dead?