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Sharon Robinson signs books at FanFest

Sharon Robinson was running a little late to her book signing on FanFest Monday, but after she breathlessly took her seat and took the lid off her first sharpie, she more than made up for lost time.

Robinson, an educational consultant for Major League Baseball, recently wrote a kids' book about her father, the late Jackie Robinson, titled, "Testing the Ice." It was her fifth book, but her first picture book. The vivid illustrations were created by artist Kadir Nelson.

Naturally, many of the fans waiting for her to sign their books were kids. Robinson didn't just sign the books and shuffle people through the lines as quickly as she could. She struck up conversations with everyone, asking names, hometowns and ages while thanking them for being baseball fans.

"I've been coming to FanFest since 2001 and signing books, and I love it because it gives me a chance to really meet the fans," she said. "My favorites of course, are the kids, the young fans. I get a great joy of sharing my book with the fans here in Kansas City." One middle school teacher thanked Robinson for all of her books, which she has shared with her students as a part of their reading curriculum over the years.

"Do you have any students named Raymond?" Robinson asked. "Who might be having a birthday coming up?"

Pulling out a book from under the table, Robinson showed the teacher the book, which is addressed to Raymond, with Happy Birthday wishes. Unfortunately, Robinson had the name wrong, so now she had a book for a non-existent Raymond.

"I'm sure I can find a Raymond at some point," the teacher said. "And I'll wait until his birthday to give this to him."

-- Alyson Footer