New book spotlights Beverly’s beloved Shoebert the Seal

A Boston-area photojournalist who documented Shoebert's journey is releasing the book with his wife.

A new children’s book is putting a favorite local seal back in the spotlight just weeks after he made a splash with his quirky antics. 

Shoebert, the gray seal that enchanted Beverly residents in September, will be the star of a new book called “Shoebert’s Great Adventure.” 

Well-known Massachusetts photojournalist Stanley Forman and his wife Debbie are releasing the book together. The story features photos by Forman, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and is told from the seal’s perspective. 

According to NBC Boston, photographing Shoebert was one of Forman’s favorite projects over his 50-year career. Forman said he documented all nine days of the seal’s out-of-sea adventure, and the book chronicles each day. 


“He wooed the crowds. … He mesmerized people, including me,” Forman told NBC. “It’s almost like he smiled at you. He loved the crowd, and the crowd loved him.”

The seal first showed up in Beverly’s Shoe Pond in September and had a stint of fame as onlookers watched him splash around. He gained even more attention when he made a late-night trip to the local police station, where he “turned himself in” to authorities. Shoebert returned to the ocean in late September after a check-up at Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium gave him a clean bill of health.

Forman won his first two Pulitzers while working as a photojournalist in Boston. The iconic photos “Fire Escape Collapse” (1975) and “Soiling of Old Glory” (1977) gained worldwide attention. He earned his third Pulitzer along with photography staff at the Boston Herald American for their coverage of the Blizzard of 1978.


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