Dear Eric Carle, Will You Be My Tattoo Artist?
For a joke, I decided to put a Very Hungry Caterpillar tattoo on my arm and tell my students it was real (just for a minute, then I came clean).
Me (in front of a class of students): I probably shouldn’t be telling you this. But, uh, I got a tattoo.
Class: Whoa!! (I didn’t expect the big reaction that met this announcement.)
Me: I don’t recommend you get a tattoo, but I got one. I think it makes me look pretty tough. (Dramatic pause) Want to see it?
Me (rolling up sleeve): Here it is.
Class: (laughter/confusion as students weren’t sure if it was real, turning to all laughter when I told them is was temporary)
It was fun, but the tattoo ended up lasting way longer than I expected – three weeks or so. And it’s been a warm fall here in Michigan, so I’ve been wearing short-sleeved shirts. The tattoo has been kinda hard to miss.
So here’s the problem/great thing about it – most people thought it was real.
“Did you get a Hungry Caterpillar tat?”
“Wow. You got a tattoo” (This person was not a fan)
“Is that a Very Hungry Caterpillar tattoo on your arm?”
(After explaining it was temporary) “If that was real, we were about to have a moment.” I felt kinda bad robbing this person of that moment.
The longer it stayed on, the more I liked it. So, I’ve decided something. If I ever do get a tattoo, it’s going to be The Very Hungry Caterpillar on my forearm. Maybe I could convince Eric Carle to do the ink himself.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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