Dudley father and inspirational daughter come together for children's book

"I was quite depressed at the time, but her drawings and spending time with her just made me happy – so I thought we should make a children's book."

Oliver Pengilley and his daughter Annabelle Pengilley 6, who have made a book together.
Oliver Pengilley and his daughter Annabelle Pengilley 6, who have made a book together.

Those are the words of an artist from the Black Country who has brittle bone disease – and broke both of his legs after taking a tumble three years ago.

Oliver Pengilley, who was from Bath but is now living in Dudley, decided to clean out a space in his workshop for his daughter Annabelle so they both could draw.

And it was this father-daughter partnership which helped the artist, who has lived in the town for more than 10 years, on his road to recover with the then three-year-old being an inspiration.

Mr Pengilley, who has since got their book Annabelle's Sketch Book of Dreams printed, said: "I have brittle bone disease and I've been fine for years, but it gets worse as you get older. I took a tumble down the stairs and broke both legs in three places.

"My daughter was three at the time and had to stop jumping on me and playing around. I'm an artist, it's my job, and so I made space for her in my workshop and the pictures she drew helped me mentally recover.

"I was quite depressed at the time, but her drawings and spending time with her just made me happy – so I thought we should make a children's book.

"I started putting together possible dream scenarios and I said to her 'what do you see in that dream?' and she would draw – and whatever random thing she did, I put it in the book. It's been a really really nice process."

The 44-year-old enlisted the help of a friend, Miriam Sarin, who put together the story as a favour to him. He got the book printed in Stourbridge and has sent it out to publishers – and has received some positive feedback.

"I just thought I would sent it everywhere and thought, maybe, this would be good to send to them and charities – see if there's a way the book could be shared with people, people who might be in the same predicament, disabled in some way or have mental health issues," the artist said.

"There's just been some really positive feedback from everyone."

Mr Pengilley was also invited to Milking Bank Primary School where he read the book to assemblies full of youngsters alongside his daughter, who turned six this year.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News