Author: Darren López
Illustrator: Bhagya Madanasinghe
Publisher: Soaring Kite Books
Debut author Darren López brings us a rarity in the picturebook arena, a story that has not been told before. López takes us into the classroom of a teacher–with tattoos! I know what you’re thinking: the shock and horror of it all. Tattoos! And, students can get a peak at the tattoos every now and again when the teacher’s sleeves hike up. Scandalous.
Those of you that read this blog frequently know where I’m going with the tongue-in-cheek horror. I am not scandalized by a teacher that has tattoos; but, I know that some in our society recoil at the very thought, making some of the very same biased arguments the uneducated make in Tatuajes. Namely, that only criminals and people that do “bad things” have tattoos. After all, if you have a tattoo, you must be in a gang.
Tatuajes takes on the stereotypes, demonstrating in a non-preachy fashion how reductive such assumptions can be; and, it does so in language that is easily accessible and relatable to the target ages. Based in part on events that occured to López during his first year teaching in the D.C. School System, the interactions between our teacher, Sr. Mendoza, and his students are true-to-life, funny and fun!
The picture book does an exceptional job of relating how tattoos are essential to cultural and self-expression. It is a wonderful addition to any classroom and a great gift for any family that likes ink! The book is available is Spanish and English.
My thanks to Soaring Kite Books for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.
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