My nephew had to do a school report recently and decided to do his presentation on his grandpa. His main source of information ended up being a book I did in 2006 about my dad’s childhood. This was the first history type book that I did which with a non-traditional look. No white pages with lots of text and a few photos. I enlisted the help of my niece Kimberli to do some illustrations. She was just starting her artistic training and she tried to do a different style than she was really comfortable so the quality of the drawings is inconsistent but the illustrations still add to the book. It was a learning experience for both of us.
One of my main goals with this project was to make it a more approachable history to read for all ages. And I think that it was at least partly successful with that since Jacob was able to use it for his school report. Now he knows something more about his grandpa that he can probably relate to in more ways. My dad had a kind of interesting childhood growing up in the days of prohibition in a suburb of Chicago.
While I’m sure I would do somethings differently if I was starting this project today, I still think it is a pretty good example of what can be done when you don’t have tons of information or lots of photos. I’m hoping that it will inspire someone in how they can tell one of their family’s stories.