"Just play—you'll be rewarded with love."

Emily Weaver
May 05, 2021 @ 2:09 pm
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Channing Tatum
Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Getty Images

In celebrity news that'll warm your soul: Channing Tatum is now a children's book author! But, the message behind his book The One and Only Sparkella is rather personal one. "A lot [in the book] is stuff that Evie and I do," Tatum told People, adding that his single dad perspective was a big inspiration behind the picture book. The 21 Jump Street actor, who shares 7-year-old Everly "Evie" with former wife Jenna Dewan, opened up about his struggles as a single dad, sharing that he often looked to YouTube for parenting girl advice.

"I was really nervous when I became a single dad, and having to raise a little girl, not being able to have the resource of a woman there to be able to lean into how to relate to her as she grows up," Tatum continued. "I literally went to YouTube and learned how to braid hair."

Writing a children's book was never on Tatum's bucket list, but things shifted after "watching her [Everly] for the very first time become self-conscious."

"She would wear a cape that, when you held your arms out, you [looked like] a slice of watermelon and it was one of her favorites. But she didn't want to wear it to school, and when I asked her why, she said, 'I don't want to get made fun of,'" Tatum recalled. Thus, the idea for Sparkella was born, "I wanted to make this little story about this girl who is very unique and really likes to shine."

While The One and Only Sparkella might parallel a lot of things about Evie and her dad's close relationship—he really does call her "Glitter Poop"—Tatum said his ultimate goal was to write an open letter to dads everywhere, especially single girl dads. 

"I see dads sometimes, and . . . being a parent is hard," he told the magazine. Tatum's biggest piece of girl advice? "Go into her world and connect with her in any way," whether that means playing dress-up, princesses, letting her give you a manicure, beauty makeover, or whatever. "It just worked for me," he said. "Just play—you'll be rewarded with love."

Tatum's book The One and Only Sparkella is available on Amazon now.