Here’s a special look Behind-the-Scenes at the making of KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Rome, Italy!

Part 1: Casey’s Notebook
Part 2: Scenes & Color
Part 3: At The Printer
Part 4: Rome Books Arrival!

Casey’s Notebook

Following are sketch pages from Casey’s notebook. That’s how she starts illustrating the book after she has the story, or manuscript as it’s called, from Shannon.

Intro Scene Sketches

Rome Sketch Phase

Trevi Fountain Scenes

Rome Sketch Phase-1

Potential Characters (hint: the Gladiator Dog is in the book!)

Rome Sketch Phase-2

Spanish Steps possibilities

Rome Sketch Phase-3

At the Cat Sanctuary for dinner

Rome Sketch Phase-4

Colosseum & Dining Scenes

Rome Sketch Phase-5

Scenes & Color

Once Casey has finished with the rough sketches and character development, she works on building the individual scenes.

 Here is a rough sketch of KeeKee landing in Rome.
Casey does rough drawings to get the composition of the scene.

Rome Intro Scene

A Walk in the Park Sketch
The background has been drawn with a bit more definition, almost like a coloring page. The characters and scooter and jotted in red just to get placement.

In the Park

Adding color to the Pantheon scene.
Here Casey uses a cut out of a drawing of KeeKee on the scooter that she’s happy with. Here Casey is working on the placement of characters and getting the scale of the Pantheon established.


 Adding color to the Spanish Steps Scene.
Casey has started to color the background and buildings. You can see near-final outlines of the different characters in the scene.

Spanish Steps

Piazza Navona color and character work.
Casey did an amazing job drawing the buildings. In this rough drawing the buildings are almost done and the fountain has been added. Some of the other characters have been added in black lines.

Piazza Navona

At The Printer

Once Casey is all done creating all of the amazing illustrations, Art Director Paul combines the words and the pictures for each page of the book on his computer. He then sends all the pages in big files to the printer’s website.



Lehigh Phoenix, in Hagerstown, Maryland, prints the KeeKee’s Big Adventures books. They are an incredible printing team. They print out proofs (test pages) of every page for us to review and approve. Then once we approve them, they are off to the printer…

This is the HUGE printer the book’s pages and covers are printed on.

The HUGE Printer

Art Director Paul comparing the printed page to the proofs he approved
to make sure the color is perfect.

Paul comparing proofs to printed pages

The printer ink!

The Printer Ink

Rome pages going through the printer. This is where it gets the red ink.

Rome pages on the printer

Rome cover pages coming off the printer and stacking up.

Rome Covers coming off the Printer

Printed book pages for sewing and binding!

Printed pages

Rome Books Arrival

After the printing of the books, they were stitched and bound into their covers, packed into boxes and shipped off to us. Here are some great pictures of the books arriving in December!

Rome books on the truck

KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Rome, Italy on the truck.

Rome books coming off the truck

 Unloading the Rome books.5,000 Rome Books

5,000 KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Rome books!

The first open box-1

Opening of the first box!

KeeKee_s New Book!

Final inspection by KeeKee >^..^<