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Shedd Aquarium Celebrates Children's Book Launch with Surprise School Visit and Penguin "Autographs"

March 08, 2022

A playful and colorful illustration of Wellington standing in front of the shark habitat in Wild Reef.

Last week, Shedd Aquarium surprised several Chicago Public School (CPS) kindergarteners at Ruggles Elementary to celebrate the launch of the aquarium’s new children’s book, “Edward and Annie: A Penguin Adventure,” which launches on Tuesday, March 8. Learning staff from the aquarium provided penguin plush toys and copies of the book that each student could take home with them.

The students, who had been studying penguins, were already signed up for a virtual Live From Behind the Scenes program with the aquarium – which brings students inside the penguin habitat at Shedd for a virtual field trip facilitated by the aquarium’s Learning staff and animal care experts. During that virtual visit, the students had the opportunity to meet a penguin up close and ask questions directly to the penguins’ caretakers.

After the virtual program came a surprise – the aquarium’s care team brought an animal ambassador – a caiman lizard – into the classroom for the students to interact with and ask questions about.

Each student was provided with a penguin plush and their own copy of the new illustrated book to take home as a keepsake from the surprise visit. This classroom visit is reflective of some of the ambitions recently announced in the aquarium’s Centennial Commitment, including expanding the aquarium’s presence outside of its home on Museum Campus to reach more Chicagoans where they are in schools and in communities.

The book’s stars, rockhopper penguins Edward and Annie, also spent some time last week “autographing” books with animal-safe paint on their flippers. Photos and video of both the school visit and the autographing are available below.

The aquarium’s new children’s book, published by Tommy Nelson, is available for purchase now. Shedd has committed that a portion of proceeds from the book will support both ongoing penguin care at the aquarium and conservation for penguins in the wild.


School Visit Photo Credit: ©Chicago Public Schools

Penguin photos: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Penguin video: ©Shedd Aquarium/Gavin Wright

About Shedd Aquarium

The John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago sparks compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world. Home to 32,000 aquatic animals representing 1,500 species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the globe, Shedd is a recognized leader in animal care, conservation education and research. An accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the organization is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and supported by the people of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the Chicago Park District.