The best children's books have a funny way of sticking with us through adulthood. It seems their authors have a special talent: the ability to put profound thoughts into words so simple that even an 8-year-old could understand. It's also refreshing to see the world through a child's eyes again, every once in a while, or for some women, every single day.
We found 16 women (and tattoo artists) who have inked quotes from their favorite kids books, from
The Giving Tree to Harry Potter. Then , we reached out to these women on Instagram and Twitter to get the story behind the ink. We learned that these tattoos capture something — a perspective, a motto, a feeling, a sense of wonder — that they want to hold on to for the rest of their lives. It's a small, special reminder of what's important to them; a 24/7 source of inspiration. And if you remember reading books from the likes of Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein, you'll be delighted by these tattoos — and the meanings behind them. Who knows? Maybe you'll be inspired to get inked yourself — or just revisit a childhood favorite. 1 of 14
"If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer... If you're a pretender come sit by my fire." Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein " Where the Sidewalk Ends has always been one of my favorite books... which is saying a lot. Because I am a dreamer, a wisher... and this quote invites you into a world you create in your imagination. The poem is named "Invitation." I have always thought of it as an invitation to any world you would find in the written word and your own heart, which is why I chose it as the single quote to accompany my book themed sleeve." — Karman H 2 of 14
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that." — Albus Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone "When the majority of people read my tattoo they are quiet for a minute and then disagree by saying imagination and dreams should be cherished. What they don't realize is that, if left unchecked, my imagination, reminiscence of books and daydreams can become my world and I forget to cherish the real (even if ever-so-less eccentric and magical) events and people in my life." — London 3 of 14
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — The Fox
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince "This is the first tattoo I got. I wanted one for years and as soon I turned 18 (which is the legal age to get a tattoo here in Denmark) I got this one done. I got this particular quote because the message is significant and beautiful. The essentials in life are love, friendship, loyalty and kindness — which are all non-material things. 'Things' that themselves do not have any physical substance, and therefore can’t be seen with the eye but with the heart. I know, you can call me a cliché, but remember to look beneath the surface." — Jayne Alice 4 of 14
"You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream!" — Tweedledee
by Lewis Carroll Alice Through The Looking Glass "I love everything about Alice in Wonderland — the books, the Disney movie, and especially the fantasy and imagination involved. That's why I loved the idea behind this quote!" — Taylor [Ed. Note: Taylor's tattoo is temporary.] 5 of 14
"And now, let the wild rumpus start!" — Max
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak "Since I was a child I always felt weird, angry... When I first read the book it made me feel less strange. As if I wasn't the only 'wild thing' in the world that still needs someone who loves it more than anything. " — Camila 6 of 14
"Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
by Roald Dahl The Twits "I got the tattoo since I've been a big Roald Dahl fan. Since starting an illustration degree and researching Quentin Blake's gorgeous illustrations, it's got me looking at his books again. From re-reading The Twits, this is the quote that really stood out and I thought it was a positive thing to get." — Hannah 7 of 14
"Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest." And the boy did. And the tree was happy." (Last refrain throughout poem)
by Shel Silverstein The Giving Tree "In the book, the tree would do anything to make the little boy happy. Even if it meant giving away pieces of herself, her life was all about the little boy and she loved seeing him happy. This was my childhood favorite and I now think of myself as the tree in the book." — Carrie 8 of 14
"Don't let the muggles get you down." — Ron Weasley
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling "I got it because Harry Potter has been a big part of the harder parts of my life. It started with a Patronus, to fend away my own Dementors. Then my love of Harry and all that he embodies, that the story embodies became a permanent part of my skin." — Jess 9 of 14
"If there is any kind of God, it would be not any of us, not you or me, but just this little space in between."
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry "This quote is also a line from the film Before Sunrise. I love it." — Seung joon 10 of 14
"Sometimes the smallest things takes up the most room in your heart."
Pooh — by A.A. Milne Winnie The Pooh "I'm a tattoo artist, and the tattoo from Winnie The Pooh meant for this customer the beautiful things she shares with her little son." — Manuela 11 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of Jess Polanco.
"May the odds be ever in your favor." — Effie Trinket
"I got a The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Hunger Games quote to remind me even on my worst days that if Katniss can do it, I can do it. She went through hell and back, so I will survive whatever life throws at me." —Jess 12 of 14
"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."
"I've always loved it. It has a beautiful and positive meaning. It's always possible to find beauty and happiness no matter what the situation might be, but you have to make an effort to try and find it, which, I think, is what Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling Harry Potter is all about. My tattoo reminds me to find joy in the small things you might overlook, appreciate what I have and that no matter what obstacles I might run into, I can overcome them if I stay positive." —Rannvá 13 of 14
"There's no place like home." — Dorothy
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum "I had to have the red bow as I got the tattoo on my foot and the ruby slippers play such a huge part in the story. And red is my favorite color, so it all fit well together... I just love the [it]. It reminds me of a happy childhood." — Carol 14 of 14
"Once there was a tree... And she loved a little boy very, very much Even more than she loved herself."
"My client got it for her son. The idea of the tree loving the boy more than herself is how she feels about her son." — Kaitlyn The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein