The Child Portraits of Kate T. Parker

Kate T. Parker is a commercial photographer who, in addition to producing images for many global companies, also photographs her own children and their friends. The artist was already working in the advertising industry when she started to photograph her children. At first she was making these images to document and create memories of their childhood, as well as learning how to create photos that matched her idea of what a good photograph looked like. As she had always been submitting images to art galleries it was inevitable that a photographic club, society or gallery would accept some of her images for an exhibition. In 2014, two of Kate’s photographs were accepted by a women’s photography club for an art display that was held at Mason Murer Fine Art. Two months later the gallery owner liked her images sufficiently enough that he offered her a place in another upcoming group exhibition entitled ‘Under My Roof’. The twenty images she displayed were black and white photographs depicting her two children, Alice and Ella, at play. After the show the photographer sent the twenty images to Mymodernmet.com where they agreed to place them in an article. The Huffington Post noticed the web page and went onto create their own article, which subsequently went viral and gathered worldwide attention.

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (Date Unknown 1)

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (Date Unknown 2)

Kate’s next project was to create the book Strong is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves and most images in this article come from this publication. The book contains about 175 images of girls who live across America, including her own daughters and their friends. The photographs show the girls playing sport, learning, either at home or in a school, creating art or simply playing and being normal kids. The girls that were photographed were also interviewed and their responses are printed next to their image. Some quotes are simple, yet adorable, for example “I can be whatever I want, even a unicorn” to more inspiring quotes such as “Many girls grew up dreaming of a hero to save them. I grew up dreaming of becoming one”.

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (Date Unknown 3)

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (Date Unknown 4)

The book was also created to celebrate the confidence that girls have, as well as to reignite that confidence in girls or women who may have lost that feeling. In an article for Insider magazine the artist described it like this.

Every photo celebrates confidence—something many women lose as they get older. When girls reach puberty, they lose the sense [that] they’re awesome just as they are. As you get older you just lose that sense of confidence. One of the reasons that I started this project was that I didn’t want my girls to lose it. I wanted my girls to have this sort of recollection, these actual physical pictures, like, remember what a badass I was?

 

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (Date Unknown 5)

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (Date Unknown 6)

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (Date Unknown 7)

The book was released worldwide and has been translated into many other languages; it appeared on the American best selling book list an well as being listed in The Best Books of 2017 (Amazon), Books of the Year and Pick of the Day, 2017 (A Mighty Girl.com), Feminist Kids Books for Dismantling the Patriarchy (NY Mag), and “Heather’s Picks” Chapters/Indigo (Canada).

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (Date Unknown 8)

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (Date Unknown 9)

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (Date Unknown 10)

Kate’s ‘Strong is the New Pretty’ photo collection has continued, and has also increased the number of companies that she does commercial work for. One of these is the Dream Big Princess photo campaign, run by the Disney Company. The #DreamBigPrincess project displays about sixty works from nineteen female photographers and Kate has provided at least five images. The campaign website describes itself as being an inspirational project, though I consider it more a princess rehabilitation project as the “princess image” is being pummeled in the current girl-child empowerment movement that we are currently transitioning through. As princesses are a major source of income for Disney then maybe they fear a reduction in their revenue? Kate, or more specifically her nine year old daughter Alice and friends, turned the idea of being a princess upside down. The artist’s photo series is partly inspirational as the images seek to show us that princesses can act in any way they want. Alice and her friends have literally been dressed as Disney princesses then they were photographed as they played. I have displayed what I think is the best of the five photos and is also the last one, it shows the aftermath of a mud fight the girls have had. Alice is in the foreground dressed as Snow White.

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled) (2016)

In addition to commercial work Kate T. Palmer is releasing more books with Strong is the New Pretty: The Guided Journal, published in October 2018 and The Heart of a Boy will be published in April 2019. Her family photographs and art projects are displayed on her Instagram account.

Kate T. Parker – (Untitled Instagram Image) (2018)

A Most Charming Lucky Charm: La Nigüenta

No one is exactly sure what gave rise to one of Costa Rica’s most enduring icons. All we know is that for decades, few Costa Rican homes were without an image or statuette of the nude toddler girl known as la Nigüenta (or sometimes La Niña de la Espina). Her name comes from the fact that she is in the act of picking out a nigua, a tiny bothersome flea whose larva has a habit of burrowing into the human foot, especially the soft bit of flesh between the big toe and the second toe of the human foot, causing extreme itching, swelling and infection. In fact, one nickname of the insect is bicho de pie, or “foot bug” in English. It’s a bit confounding how a child with such an unlucky affliction came to be a symbol of good luck, but that is indeed the case.

Artist Unknown – La Nigüenta (original print)

Some say the original image was inspired by an ancient Greco-Roman sculpture called Spinario (Boy with Thorn), which has a fascinating history in its own right. Others suggest it can trace its history to pre-Columbian shamanic women. If the latter is true, it underscores the cleverness of the natives, hiding a powerful pagan emblem beneath the noses of the Catholic Spanish colonizers in such an innocent and seemingly innocuous form. Whatever its history, honoring and displaying this sweet little girl in the home somehow eventually became one of Costa Rica’s most honored and important agüizotes. As an article from the Tico Times says:

Offerings were left for her to ask for good fortune or a particular favor. Today, she is seen as primarily an enchantment to bring economic prosperity. It helps to tuck a few bills under her base, or to prime the pump, if you will. A Nigüenta received as a gift is a far more potent charm than one purchased.

For that reason la Nigüenta is often given as a gift to older and more traditional Costa Ricans, who proudly give her a place of prominence on their televisions, altars, desks, mantles or coffee tables. Different colored ribbons might also be tied around her neck, depending on what one wanted her to direct her good fortune towards: red for love, yellow for money, blue for health, and so on.

The sculptures come in a variety of styles and colors, from plain one- or two-color ones to elaborately painted affairs.

Ale Rambar – Nigüenta rosada (2018)

Ale Rambar – Nigüenta dorada (2019)

Ale Rambar (official site)

Artist Unknown – La Nigüenta (1)

Artist Unknown – La Nigüenta (2)

Artist Unknown – La Nigüentas for sale (1)

Artist Unknown – La Nigüentas for sale (2)

These days she is apt to appear in advertisements, cartoons or modern reinterpretations.

Artist Unknown – ARS SDS ad

Rafael de los Santos (Poteleche) – La Niña de la Espina (2016)

Poteleche (official site)

Note: The Spanish text of this cartoon says something to the effect of “I’ve been trying to get this thing out for years and no one will stoop to help me.” 🙂

Artist Unknown – La Nigüenta (Holalola poster)

Ale Rambar – La Nigüenta

Gioco Roesch – La Nigüenta

Blogspot: Gioco Roesch de Todo

One can even find examples dressed in the shirts of their favorite soccer teams!

Artist Unknown – La Nigüentas (3)

Random Scenes: The Big Bang Theory

It may be covering well-trodden ground to mention a TV series of this popularity, but I really get a kick out of this scene and the fact that the TV viewing public is able to comprehend the humor of the situation says something about today’s society.

For those who have not seen the series, The Big Bang Theory is kind of a coming-of-age story about a set of socially-awkward, geeky scientists. The most socially arrested of the bunch is Dr. Sheldon Cooper, a theoretical scientist. In a Season 2 episode, he realizes that to get something he wants, he has to suck up to one of his colleagues and goes on a quest to figure out how to master making friends. Naturally, he tries to do this using book learning and the results are quite amusing.

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Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady et al - The Big Bang Theory: The Friendship Algorithm (2009)

The premise is interesting. Sheldon in his own social innocence sees no problem in making friends with a little girl (Rebecca played by Jade Zdanow) while his roommate understands the potential hazards and whisks him away from the scene. Zdanow also starred in a short film, Specifically (2010), in which she and a little boy play out a Bergmanesque marriage scenario.

Random Images: K. Pedrós

Here’s an interesting example of killing two birds with one stone brought to my attention from one of our readers. It appears that in 1994, two publishing companies were publishing volumes that included pictorial information on sex education with text in Spanish. The funny thing is that photographs were used that clearly came from the same photo shoot.

The first image appeared in a sex-ed reference called Enciclopedia de la Sexualidad from the Spanish publishing house Editorial Oceano. It was published in four volumes and this picture is from the last volume.

K. Pedrós – From Enciclopedia de la Sexualidad(1994)

The second one is from a Colombian book published in 1994 as well. It is called Atlas de Sexualidad with text by Aurora Otero published by Progama Educativo Visual, S.L. The second book did not have specific credits for Pedrós but there can be no doubt about the source. Are they perhaps of his own kids? And how did the availability of these photos become known to these two publishing firms?

K. Pedrós – From Atlas de Sexualidad (1994)

Maiden Voyages: May 2018

The Pigtails Film Database: I am pleased to announce that the first 400 films or so kept in the Pigtails archive are posted on the ‘Pipeline Films’ page. The task was quite daunting as there were so many entries to list. I also had to come up with a consistent scheme since there were so many films not produced or dubbed in English. Films with an asterisk mean that we are still looking for a digital copy of that film. Also, I have only seen one or two percent of the films so I am taking it on faith that readers have sent legitimate leads and not used poor judgment or mentioned films in which the girl does not have a integral or compelling part in the film. Films in which a girl appears in short scenes will be reviewed in a future ‘Random Scenes’ post while more substantial roles will be given dedicated posts. There is often the question of a cut-off age for Pigtails coverage. There is no such definitive age but films about more mature adolescent girls will not be reviewed here but will remain on the database for the readers’ reference. The current layout is preliminary as there are still the wish list items and those films that have already been reviewed on this site to list. Finally, readers will have a better idea of what we have, what we know about and what we don’t. Readers are urged to follow up with interesting details or concerns about films that should not have been listed on the Pigtails database.

Can Child Protection and Freedom of Expression Co-Exist? The problem with most so-called child protection organizations is that they take a simplistic zero-tolerance approach which very often does more harm than good. Also, their attitude and approach often calls into question their own motivations. I received an interesting email last month from someone in the Prostasia Foundation. Their approach is to remain focused on issues of personal freedom while discussing (and providing feedback) on real ways to protect children. This organization is interested in covering issues from the perspective of the artistic community, and so has reached out to find those interested in contributing an article for their blog or even engaging in a video interview for their podcast. In fact, I have just been informed that there will be an item published soon contributed by an art photographer. I have taken a preliminary look at their site and have so far been impressed with the caliber of the discussion/articles and their political involvement. I recommend readers concerned with overzealous censorship take a look at this organization and either a) inform me of any red flags I may have overlooked or b) take this opportunity to get involved.

Climate Warriors: It appears that school children are taking a stand and striking for the cause of real climate action. It began with 15-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden and has since gained some political traction. Read more here.

Good Friends: A reader sent a link to a charming video of a 6-year-old Indian girl named Pooja as she went about her day with her special friend Shanti. Check it out.

Richard Müller’s Liegender Mädchenakt auf Diwan

I’ve been wanting to post something by Richard Müller for ages but up until recently I couldn’t find anything that really fit the blog’s theme. There were some lovely images of boys, including Boy with Snake and David and Goliath, but nothing featuring girls. That was unfortunate, because I really love Müller’s work. He was a German Symbolist and surrealist painter and illustrator, born in what used to be Tschirnitz, Bohemia (now Cernovice nad Ohra, Czech Republic). At fourteen he began attending the School of the Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufactory in Meissen, Germany. Post-graduation, he entered the Art Academy in Dresden, eventually becoming an instructor at the very same academy. Under the Nazis, Müller, after 35 years as an influential professor and a couple years as president of the Academy, eventually lost his position due to his “subversive tendencies”—any artist who annoyed the Nazis is okay in my book.

Anyway, I thought I’d never get to post anything by Müller here. But then I happened upon this glorious work, Liegender Mädchenakt auf Diwan, which exceeded any expectations I could’ve had for anything suitable for Pigtails. Not only does it feature a beautifully painted nude young girl but the size and quality of the image was exceptional. In fact, this is reduced to forty percent of the original size, and I had to downsize it by about 500 kilobytes as well. If you want the full-sized image just Google the title; it should come up.

What I particularly fancy about this image is the girl’s pose, which strikes just the right balance between formal stiffness and relaxation: the legs crossed at the ankles, the way her right hand casually toys with her hair, the little pudgy rolls of flesh around her hips, even the look on her face, which could be boredom or sleepiness, gives this girl a humanity and familiarity without pushing her into tawdriness or sexual suggestiveness. She’s a child who is only just becoming aware of her feminine appeal. The silky, dark green ribbons tied into her loosely-braided hair contrasts nicely with the warmth and texture of her skin too. A truly lovely piece.

Richard Müller – Liegender Mädchenakt auf Diwan (1924)

Summer in New York

The day I wrote this in sketch—Tuesday 22 January 2019—a young Dutch model was flying to America, to NY, for the next three years, to work as a model (like Maddie Ziegler) for IMG Models, though based in Paris, London and Milan as well. She, Summer de Snoo, is 9 years old and has been a model since she was 4 years old.

(Photographer unknown) – Summer de Snoo with her mother Jessica in Dutch talk show ‘Jinek’ (2019)

(Photographer unknown) – Summer in the same talk show of Eva Jinek (2019)

I had not heard about her before yesterday, when she was a guest in the Dutch talk show Jinek, run by Eva Jinek. In it she appeared with her mother, her first manager, and clearly still under her ‘watchful’ eye. She also has a professional manager. The mother, and two sisters, moved to NY as well. The father has a company in Holland, but will follow later, when things in the States are settled. The mother was asked by some journalist, whether her daughter’s income will be enough for the family—a bit of a direct question perhaps—but she answered at once that whatever Summer earns herself will remain hers.

Perhaps predictably, and inevitably in our culture, there were questions and remarks about whether modeling by someone so young is a good thing to do, let alone flying to America for it. Summer says that this is what she wants to do: that she likes the variety in clothes she wears and the people she meets. Meanwhile, she has her catwalk workshops, her school, her sports and playing of video games (like Nintendo)—as her mother claims, and as she shows in the few short documentaries about her, seemingly without putting on (modeling) airs. She goes on to tell about one of her more specific dreams: to someday become one of the only 14 Angels of Victoria’s Secret.

(Photographer unknown) – 6 out of 14 Angels from Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (year unknown)

May I mention her beauty, apparent in some well-made photographs, shot in The Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe—namely Milan? Today, it is still winter in NY but Summer is there. Later this year,  I may try to find out more about her experiences there, as she expands her thoughts about posing, to write a more general post about young girls modeling (and acting and dancing). She will join the ranks of such talents, often with beautiful names, as Maddie Ziegler, Kristina Pimenova, Thylane Blondeau, Laneya Grace, Jade Weber, Laura Niemas, Lily Chee, Lilly Kruk! Kruk…? Well, what is in a name? And maybe a few are a bit less famous, but as bright and beautiful as the rest! And maybe I will find out what, seemingly, brought some of them together, in modeling—at least in photography.

(Photographer unknown) – Laneya Grace and Jade Weber (year unknown)

(Photographer unknown) – Laneya Grace, Lilly Kruk and Kristina Pimenova (year unknown)

(Photographer unknown) – Summer (year unknown)

Sarah Ann Terschegget – Summer de Snoo (2018)

Sarah Ann Terschegget – Summer (2018)

Cooper Seykens – Summer (year unknown)

Studio STIEP Portraits? – Summer (year unknown

Judith Onderstal – Le Portrait (year unknown)

(Photographer unknown) – Close up (year unknown)

I presume Summer can give us a Mona Lisa smile pretty well. One can see her giving smiles pretty well in daily life as well—at least in the daily media. But I have seen her, giving for example, ‘serious’ (1:27) and even ‘angry’, being asked to (1:35), change herself with this serious gaze—or I would say a vanishing point gaze of beauty like those examples above.

Here below acting out her dream and her signature smile.

(Photographers Unknown) – Victoria Secret Angel – Summer (around 2018)

I will let Summer have the last words, a response to the criticism and the issues of modeling so young. In this short clip in Dutch she answers the journalist who asks her what she thinks of all the reactions (beginning at 1:17). Translated:

Eh, very irritating. Because they do not know how I live my life. The only thing they know is that I make nice pictures and of course normal videos and that is the only thing they see of me.

I want to tell all the children that watch me, to follow their own dreams and do not say that you are ugly. Because you are beautiful the way you are.

However, all in all, if her ‘Big Apple’ dream should somehow end, this could be her other dream.

(Photographer unknown) – Summer (year unknown)

However, at least one fan knows how to find her, one way or another.

(Photographer unknown) – from Summer de Snoo Fan Account (year unknown)

Illustrating Hilda Conkling’s Poetry

Dorothy P. Lathrop - Frontispiece - Silverhorn

Dorothy P. Lathrop – Frontispice, in Silverhorn (1924)

The American child poet Hilda Conkling (1910–1986) started composing poetry at the age of four. She did not write down her poems herself, but she recited them to her mother, who wrote them down in the moment or from memory later, and would then read the lines back to her. As Hilda grew up, her mother stopped copying her poems down, so she made fewer and fewer poems, and by the time she was in high school, she had stopped creating them altogether.

Two original collections of her poetry were published as books, first Poems by a Little Girl in 1920, when she was just ten, then Shoes of the Wind in 1922. Both have been digitised and can be found on Internet Archive, and the first one has been transcribed on Fullbooks.com and Project Gutenberg.

In 1924 appeared a third volume, which consisted of a selection of poems from the previous two; it was titled Silverhorn (after one of its poems), and subtitled The Hilda Conkling Book For Other Children. For someone like me who has read her first two collections, the interest of this third book resides essentially in the illustrations by Dorothy Pulis Lathrop (1891–1980), an American artist who had a long career illustrating children’s books, and also writing a few ones herself.

Unfortunately, I found no digitisation of Silverhorn on the web, in particular it is not available on Internet Archive. Moreover, the only good quality large size image of the illustrations which I could find is the frontispiece image, shown above. Therefore I had to digitise further illustrations from my own copy of the book. As it is thick with a hard cover, the folding of pages near the rim caused artifacts: the border of some images were sometimes darkened or geometrically distorted. Fortunately, Pip helped me by enhancing the contrast of the images, giving thus an uniform background.

I present here nine drawings by Dorothy Lathrop, in the order of appearance in the book. The titles given for them are those of the poems that they illustrate.

Dorothy P. Lathrop - First Songs - Silverhorn

Dorothy P. Lathrop – First Songs, in Silverhorn (1924)

Dorothy P. Lathrop - Autumn Song - Silverhorn

Dorothy P. Lathrop – Autumn Song, in Silverhorn (1924)

Dorothy P. Lathrop - Poems - Silverhorn

Dorothy P. Lathrop – Poems, in Silverhorn (1924)

Dorothy P. Lathrop - Shiny Brook - Silverhorn

Dorothy P. Lathrop – Shiny Brook, in Silverhorn (1924)

Dorothy P. Lathrop - Dryad - Silverhorn

Dorothy P. Lathrop – Dryad, in Silverhorn (1924)

Dorothy P. Lathrop - Lilac Bush - Silverhorn

Dorothy P. Lathrop – Lilac Bush, in Silverhorn (1924)

Dorothy P. Lathrop - About Animals - Silverhorn

Dorothy P. Lathrop – About Animals, in Silverhorn (1924)

Dorothy P. Lathrop - Mermaid - Silverhorn

Dorothy P. Lathrop – Mermaid, in Silverhorn (1924)

Dorothy P. Lathrop - I-Shall-Come-Back - Silverhorn

Dorothy P. Lathrop – I Shall Come Back, in Silverhorn (1924)

Several short poems in Shoes of the Wind look like aphorisms and are suited to artistic compositions. Gale Blair at Paper Whimsy hosted several art challenges, providing participants with collage sheets and poems by Hilda Conkling. I found two creations for the March 2009 challenge based on the poem “Moss” and the colour green. First, the beautiful work of Patty Szymkowicz shown on her blog Magpie’s Nest. I have here reduced the size of the two images (see here and here for the original sizes).

Patty Szymkowicz - Moss by Hilda Conkling

Patty Szymkowicz – collage for “Moss” by Hilda Conkling (2009)

Patty Szymkowicz - Moss by Hilda Conkling

Patty Szymkowicz – collage for “Moss” by Hilda Conkling (2009)

Next, I show the contribution of Carol Stocker, from her blog Spirit’s Journey Designs:

Carol Stocker - Moss by Hilda Conkling

Carol Stocker – collage for “Moss” by Hilda Conkling (2009)

These two artists also responded to the challenge of February 2009, based on the poem “The Key to My Mind” and the colour blue. I do not show them here, as I find the one by Carol Stocker less beautiful, while the one by Patty Szymkowicz shows only the front, and in a small size.

Sugar Lump Studios has composed a “Hilda Conkling Poetry Book” made of collages combining poems with paints, watercolors, ephemera, and images from Paper Whimsy.

Creating collages combining beautiful short poems with paintings, drawings and photographs, seems a fruitful avenue in art. For instance, Graham Ovenden made such compositions with his own poetry and visual art, see for instance “From Waterside Memories” in his blog. I wish that more people would make such visual compositions with poems written by girl poets such as Hilda Conkling, Nathalia Crane or Minou Drouet.

Random Scenes: A History of Britain

And here’s yet another example of an excellent documentary series. These days, there are rules about giving credit to the crew who produce a film and many of the source materials used in its production. A History of Britain (2000) was presented by Simon Schama and one can scroll through the credits and appreciate the research that was done. Although all legal obligations of giving credit have been satisfied that does not mean that this has been done to the satisfaction of the viewers. In episode 12, ‘Forces of Nature’, Schama is discussing a period of time where “sensible” people gave high regard to the workings of nature—an almost religious reverence filling the void of the spiritual feelings lost in the secularization of Western culture. Of course the high guru of this movement was Jean-Jacques Rousseau who advocated allowing children to express their “animal spirits” in the cause of an uncorrupted personal development. Among the images used to illustrate this point in A History of Britain was some archival footage of two little girls running around. From clues in the film, this was probably footage of an aristocratic family, perhaps a famous one. I have always wondered who these girls may have been and what became of them.

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Simon Schama et al - A History of Britain Forces of Nature (2000)

The Garbage Collector: A Little Girl’s Hero

David Proeber, Pantagraph (2016)

This is an updated version of a post published in Agapeta on April 25, 2016.

What lies in a little girl’s mind? What are her interests? Which role models does she hold? Sometimes she can choose a quite unusual one, and this leads to unexpected consequences.

Brooklyn Andracke, a little girl born on April 7, 2013, lives in Bloomington, Illinois, USA. When she was aged two, she became fascinated with the garbage collector who was coming every Thursday. At first, she was waving from the window as the garbage truck passed by. Then Brooklyn, her mother Traci and little brother Ty moved outside to wave. And when they missed the truck, Traci Andracke would drive the kids around the neighborhood to find the truck so Brooklyn could wave. And the driver always made a point of waving back with a big smile and honking the truck’s horn.

Traci said: “Thursdays are by far her favorite day … garbage day. For about a year now, she has anxiously awaited the garbage truck’s arrival at our house.” She added: “And so we look forward to Thursday mornings, garbage day, all week. Monday morning, she starts asking if it’s garbage day yet.

When Brooklyn’s third birthday happened to be on Thursday, “garbage day,” she wanted to share part of her big day with him: to give him a birthday cupcake. As his truck came down her street, Brooklyn ran to the corner and her mother waved for the driver to come over. Said Traci:

He pulled over, got out and gave us his BIG smile. Brooklyn was instantly speechless as she handed him the cupcake. I explained to him that he makes our day every Thursday, and we really appreciate the honking and waving, and how special of a day it is for us.
Then … (melt my heart) … he explained that he looks forward to seeing us every Thursday as well. He said that he has a meeting every Thursday morning and always tries to get out of there in a hurry so that he can make sure to see us every week. He said he doesn’t have any kids of his own, but he mentors several children and just loves them. I can’t believe that I never got his name, so for now he will continue to be “our favorite awesome smiley garbage man.”
After he left, we continued onto daycare. Brooklyn was unusually quiet in the backseat. I asked her if she was okay, and she said “Mommy, I’m so happy.”

I didn’t know I was her idol,” he said. “I just looked forward to seeing this young lady every Thursday. She topped it off last week with a cupcake.

Traci Andracke made some photographs of the scene, and shared them on Facebook. She also learned the man’s name: Delvar Dopson.

Traci Andracke on Facebook (2016)

Traci Andracke on Facebook (2016)

Traci Andracke on Facebook (2016)

The following Thursday went magic. The local journal Pantagraph was there with a reporter and a photographer. Said Traci:

This morning was garbage day again. The Pantagraph sent a reporter and photographer to our house to cover the exciting morning. As Delvar got to our street, he honked to let us know he was coming. Brooklyn grabbed her sign that she made for him and ran to the corner to greet him. The sign said “THANK YOU DELVAR.” Delvar pulled up to our house and greeted Brooklyn with his usual big smile and big hug. He thanked Brooklyn for the cupcake that she gave him last week and said “Happy Belated Birthday.”
THEN ……… he walked her around to the other side of the truck and pulled out the most amazing, awesome and generous birthday gifts for her. He said he did a little research and knew she liked the movie FROZEN. His wife made this incredible basket full of everything FROZEN, and another full set of FROZEN fun stuff to color, paint and draw with ……… a little girl’s dream!!!! (and yes, at this point I was crying).
[…]
Brooklyn gave Delvar the sign to keep in his truck. He put it in the front window facing out for everyone to see.

The story was shared on Facebook and spread around. Delvar got warm congratulations from colleagues from all over the country and even from abroad, telling him how he made them proud of their job.

Here are some of the Pantagraph photographs. Brooklyn eagerly awaits Delvar’s arrival.

David Proeber, Pantagraph (2016)

As he comes by, she gets out with her sign for him.

David Proeber, Pantagraph (2016)

But surprise! Delvar brought a birthday present.

David Proeber, Pantagraph (2016)

And now big big hugs!

David Proeber, Pantagraph (2016)

David Proeber, Pantagraph (2016)

Now, this magical encounter also changed Delvar’s life. Indeed, the story of Brooklyn sharing a cupcake with him on her third birthday on April 7, 2016, became a viral sensation on the internet, and it caught the attention of Nutella, the makers of the chocolate hazelnut spread, which featured Delvar Dopson in a series of YouTube videos.

After noticing the videos, NBC Universal officials invited Delvar and his wife Bonnie to compete on the television game “The Wall” on July 7, 2017. The couple won $399,792.

Then in 2018, after 12 years as a city public works employee, Delvar resigned from his job in order to move with his wife to Los Angeles to pursue new opportunities. He said that in California he would be meeting with major television networks “on some things that are going to be happening in the future.” He said he could not give full details, adding, “The only thing I am allowed to say is it’s going to be in entertainment and also fitness.”

Before departing, he came to Brooklyn’s house to give her and her little brother Ty a farewell with big hugs.

Maria Nagle, Pantagraph (2018)

Maria Nagle, Pantagraph (2018)

Maria Nagle, Pantagraph (2018)

Delvar has a YouTube channel devoted to fitness. His site Eregon 206, devoted to improving lifestyle, contains three videos, one by Inside Edition about his sharing Brooklyn’s third birthday, another one by Nutella presenting it as ‘Spread the Happy,’ and a third showing the performance of his wife Bonnie on the television game “The Wall.”

Sources: Since the site of Pantagraph cannot be viewed in Europe, I have added links to the archived version of its articles.