It all started in Miss Stunkel’s art class. Penelope drew a portrait of her best friend, Patsy, and Patsy drew one of her. Penelope studied Patsy closely using all the skill of Leonardo da Vinci to create the perfect image – the Mona Lisa of 4th grade portraits. At last it was time to share and Patsy jumped up first to present her portrait of Penelope. She proudly shared. Penelope was stunned. She knew she had a different nose, but was it seen like “that?” Her nose wasn’t long and huge and pointy – COLOSSAL. Large maybe, and yet, distinguished certainly. The picture stared at her from the bulletin board and Penelope knew she had to do something about it to make it right.
At home that night Penelope asked her mom about her nose, only to discover that her nose was a Crumb family trait. Evidently she and her grandfather shared the same nose, but Penelope never knew that because she had never met her grandfather. She thought he was graveyard dead, like her dad, but he’s not. In fact, he might live nearby. Assigned to “discover what you don’t know about your family” and then make a family “coat-of-arms using pictures and drawings to show your family’s history” Penelope decides to find her unknown grandfather and discover how her nose connects them.
Penelope, with the help of her home schooled, over-protected neighbor Littie Maple does some pretty courageous, dangerous and ingenious sleuthing to fix her nose, discover the unknown, and heal and strengthen her family. I’m glad Penelope Crumb is the first in a series, because Penelope is fun to be around. She is determined and has just the right amount of quirkiness to make her a person I’d like to have in my life. She’d help me notice and appreciate the little things that make each of us uniquely important in the world.