Sixth grader Penelope Prinbeck recently donated a new book to our lower school library. However, this isn’t a book you can find on Amazon or in any bookstore; this book was written by Penelope’s grandmother, Nancy Prindle, and illustrated by Penelope herself. Based on Penelope’s own family’s history, Anna: Komensky Township, 1907, is the story of a family of Bohemian immigrants living and farming in Wisconsin.
“My Nana wrote this book for my family to learn more about our ancestors,” explains Penelope. “It has a lot of interesting facts, real photographs, and explains how people lived in Wisconsin in the early 1900s. I was so excited when my Nana asked me to illustrate this book for her because I love how brave the characters were and I am so happy that I was a part of it. I even helped design the cover.”
Penelope was eager for her Nana’s book to be a real library book and after our librarian Mrs. Komarnicki read the first chapter, she knew it was something special. With the young illustrator’s permission, Mrs. Komarnicki processed the book in the library catalog, complete with a barcode and reading level, and made it an official addition to the shelves.
Penelope says, “I was especially proud of what my Nana said about me in her acknowledgements on page 5: ‘And to my Penelope Prinbeck for her winsome, insightful sketches that add zest to the story. Her suggestions have improved the telling, and added to my pleasure in writing it.’ I love my Nana.”
This experience has Penelope thinking about her future as well as the past. She says, “I think I would like to be an author someday just like my Nana.”