Ironton native publishes children’s book

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In the eyes of Ironton native Beatrice Wess, there is nothing more important than family.

“If you don’t have that relationship with your family members that should be one of the foremost priorities in your young life,” Wess said.

About 8 years ago, Wess began writing down memories of one of her favorite family members, her grandfather, and created a sort of compilation that she then gave to her family members. She said the compilation mostly came out of the sincere appreciation she had for everything her grandfather had ever done for her.

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After encouragement from family and friends, Wess turned her compilation into a children’s book called “My Grandpa”. Her grandfather was from Ashland, Ky. and Wess and her mother had lived with him for a few of her young years. She attended Kingsbury Elementary and graduated from Ironton High School in 1951.

“It’s just simplicity and reinforcing what the child already knows,” Wess said. She said that all children could relate to having a grandfather whether they know him or not. She also said that she used basic sight words to ensure that the children are able to understand the book without a problem.

The book was illustrated by W. Jean Easterling and features coloring pages for the children. Wess’ favorite illustration is that of a train similar to that which her grandfather worked on. She said that she hopes a child somewhere may be inspired to learn about trains after coloring the picture.

“Who knows, maybe there will be an engineer coming out of my book,” she said.

Wess said that the most important thing for a child to learn after reading the book is that nationalities and ethnicities don’t matter – a grandpa is a grandpa. This hope was realized when she gave a young girl a copy of her book and she saw the realization on the child’s face.

“Nationality doesn’t matter,” Wess said.

My Grandpa can be purchased from, Barnes and Noble, or