A year after publishing his first children’s book, The one and only Sparkella, Channing Tatum wrote for a second Sparkle adventure which, like the first bestseller, is inspired by his 9-year-old daughter Everly, whom he shares with his ex Jenna Dewan.
“The first book came very quickly and easily,” Tatum, 42, told PEOPLE in the latest issue. “I had spoken about my experience with Evie at some point in my life and the book just came out. I don’t think I really expected little moments that I put in the book that were just me and moments of Evie, be so resonant.”
The new book, The one and only Sparkella makes a plancenters on Sparkella and her father trying to create a fairytale castle before a play date and was inspired by a recent experience Tatum and Everly had while making a birdhouse.
“I spent a weekend with Evie outside LA at this kind of little farm cabin where we go to spend our weekends when we can,” he explains. “She wanted to make a birdhouse, which is the most daddy-daughter thing you can do. But she didn’t just say, ‘Daddy, I want to make a birdhouse.’ She’s like, ‘I know how to make the birdhouse.’ And I said, “Are you sure? I could help you.” And she said, ‘Yeah no, just help me do it, but I know how I want it to be.’ And I was like, ‘Hmm, okay.'”
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“And at the time we started doing that, there was no version of his plan that was going to work,” he recalls. “But I respected and loved that she planned something and she loves designing and creating things. We finally got there, but it was a very long journey of watching and not being able to tell her, because “She’s really strong- willful child, what was working and what was not. I just had to let her find it.”
In addition to the birdhouse-inspired plot in the book, which is illustrated by Kim Barnes, Tatum says there are a few other nods to real-life parenting moments with Evie, including one of her redirection tactics. secret and successful.
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“There’s a secret thing that I’ve worked into the story that I don’t know if it will work with every parent, but it can be very Jedi [mind] thing in the best possible way,” he explains. “Evie loves teaching me things. She loves knowing she’s got one on me or she’s in a strong position, and so we weaved it in very subtly, where Sparkella helps her dad shine his bike.”
“It’s something I use a lot with Evie, I’m like, ‘I don’t know how to do this. I need help.’ And she really steps in when she thinks she can be helpful,” said Tatum, who found her own way to shine ahead of the book’s release in a bespoke tutu from the Limited edition Sparkella x Tutu du Monde collectionadds.
Tatum jokes that Everly, who celebrates her ninth birthday today, is “like a teenager now.”
“It’s crazy,” he says, adding that in addition to outdoor adventures and activities, father and daughter also occasionally play video games together.
“I’ve definitely become the parent who doesn’t know how to use electronics as much as her, when it comes to computers and such,” he admits. “It’s not that I was ever good at computers anyway, but I was good at video games and she really likes video games and she’s really good at it.”
“I wouldn’t be as open to her playing them, but she’s very, very, very active in other things,” Tatum said. “She loves being outside. She loves doing all the other things that balance that out.”
The one and only Sparkella makes a plan is available now.