Ella is excited for her first day at a new school.
Glimmering pencil case? Check!
Shimmering backpack? Check!
Glittery ribbons in her hair? Check!
But her first day doesn’t go quite as planned: Her new classmates don’t like her disco-ball shoes, her PB&J-with-sprinkles sandwich, or her rainbow-y unicorn painting.
Ella decides to try to be less sparkly at school the next day so the other kids won’t make fun of her. But with a little help from her dad, she soon learns the importance of just being herself, no matter what other people say.
“My only wish is for more time in this life to play in all of the magical realms we have created,” the star writes in the book’s dedication
by Sam Gillette for People
Channing Tatum, the multi-talented actor and director, is taking on a new form of storytelling with his first children’s book, The One and Only Sparkella. And it’s dedicated to his 6-year-old daughter Everly.
“To Everly, the most brilliant magical being that I have ever known,” the Magic Mike actor, 40, writes in the book’s dedication, shared exclusively with PEOPLE. “You are my greatest teacher.”
“My only wish is for more time in this life to play in all of the magical realms we have created,” Tatum continues. “This is also for all Dads that might have a little girl … Wear whatever, dance however, and be as magical as you can. Because I promise they will return the love.”
The picture book, which will be published on May 4, 2021 by Feiwel & Friends, tells the story of a young girl named Ella, who gets teased for her love of sparkly things on her first day of school. But her dad encourages her to continue to wear glittery ribbons and disco-ball shoes. The result is a delightful tale that encourages kids to embrace their individuality — and celebrates the bond between father and daughter.
The One and Only Sparkella is illustrated by Kim Barnes and is the first in a series about Sparkella. The picture book is just one of Tatum’s ongoing projects. He’s now in production on his directorial debut, DOG, which he’s co-directing with Reid Carolin.
But Tatum says his favorite role to date is being a dad to Everly, whom he shares with ex Jenna Dewan. The star has shared Instagram videos and photos of the time he spends with Everly — from getting pedicures to wrestling and boxing. Everly loves all three, Tatum has said.
In September 2018, Tatum proudly talked about his daughter’s independent personality during an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“She’s on the ground, rolling around. Every kid is up doing the proper stuff, but she’s just doing her own thing,” Tatum said of Everly’s participation in dance class.
“I wish I could take credit for that, but I can’t, really,” the actor said. “That’s really all her. I think kids come out a little bit of what they’re going to be, and then you foster that to be whatever you hope her to be in the world.”
He added, “She always just does her own thing.”
The One and Only Sparkella will be released in May 2021.