100 Scope Notes
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Written by Kids, Illustrated by Bob Shea: A Unique Collaboration on an Original Story

Something different to share today. An original story, written by elementary school students and illustrated by Bob Shea. Here’s what Mr. Shea had to say about the collaboration:

A teacher friend of mine does an after school writing program with some students. Last year I went in and wrote a book with the kids. The first week we came up with a character and a storyline. We worked out the story and the kids bossed me around as I designed the characters. I would go in every few weeks and they would revise the story and give me notes on the sketches. By spring we had a finished book.

I asked Bob about the students and teacher, he shared this:

The kids were in third grade. I’ve been collaborating with this teacher for 10 years and she’s wonderful. There are a handful of great teachers who also know how to get their names out there, but there are so many fantastic ones who don’t get the credit they deserve. She is definitely one of them.

Let’s call her, “The lady that America’s Favorite author and creator of runaway smash hit “The Scariest Book Ever” (available now in stores and online) Bob Shea selflessly donates his time to help because his main goal is to provide enriching experiences for children through his fantastical world of whimsy and imagination. And no, hero is not too strong a word.”

Or Judy Nacca. It’s really up to you.

I like both. Now, let’s have a look at Cece and Jorge, written by Ms. Nacca’s third grade writing club and illustrated by Bob Shea.

(Click images to enlarge)

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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. Chris Sheban says:

    Ha – great story and illustrations. “He is sleepy and full of berries.”

  2. I love the start in medias res. There’s no introduction to Cece, no exposition at all. It’s very efficient.

  3. Sarah Calatayud says:

    Bob Shea is just incredible. Have always loved his creations. What a wonderful collaboration with a spectacular teacher, Judy Nacca (who is also my dear friend). These kids should be incredibly proud of what they made!