100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Instagramming an Author Event: An Evening with Bob Shea (And a Special Guest)

All ready for our Bob Shea event!

Bob Shea Checklist

AHH! NO! Not ready! I missed something!


Ah. Better.

Break out the balloons, folks – Bob Shea (and a special guest) visited our school district last night and I have the square-shaped photos to prove it.

I’ve never helped organize an evening author event, but I was feeling good about our secret weapon: our school district has an incredible Fine Arts Center that was recently built.


We did our darnedest to hype the event – including sending out these posters I made using Canva.

Bob Shea Poster

Bookbug, independent bookseller in Kalamazoo, MI came up for the event to sell some books:

Book Bug

We decorated a bit:

Bob Shea Doors

Bob Shea Banner

It was time for the main event.

Bob Shea on Stage 1

You know why Bob Shea is perhaps our nation’s best family event author/illustrator? Because Bob Shea is just as funny to grown-ups as he is to kids. Colby Sharp (who hosted a Shea event earlier this week) called it a Toy Story presentation for exactly this fun-for-everyone reason. I’ve heard whisperings that Bob may have some stand-up comedy experience. It shows.

Shea Happy

After things were rolling, the house lights came down and Shea read his upcoming book The Happiest Book Ever! Beware the frowny frog.

Keller and Shea


Who was in the house? Arnie the Doughnut Michigan author/illustrator Laurie Keller. Poor Laurie – here she was thinking she was just coming to watch, and mean Mr. Shea brings her up on stage. Keller helped with a underwear-designing bit for Bob’s latest book Dance, Dance, Underpants. Shea took suggestions from the audience, and Keller did the rest:

Underpants 1

Underpants 2

After the presentation wrapped up, it was book-signing time. This is also known as Travis Sticks a Camera in Bob Shea’s Space and Awkwardly Snaps a Candid Photo time.

Bob Book Signing

And with that, it was time for Bob to gently drift off to dreamland:

Bob Shea Zzzzz

Thank you Bob Shea for visiting. Thank you Mary Ann Zissimos for arranging the visit. Thank you Laurie Keller for being a good sport. It was a wonderful night.

Ballet Cat

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. This is the best. Lucky children.

  2. Sharon Verbeten says:

    OMG! He is absolutely one of my faves! How did you get him there? Was he expensive? Would love to have him here in WI!