In Which We Spend a Wonderful Afternoon at Rock Hall Elementary School
by Matthew
June 1, 2022

Last Thursday we spent the afternoon with the students and teachers of Rock Hall Elementary School.

They had used their Title I funding to purchase a hardcover book for each student and teacher. Robbi and I talked observation and storytelling with a group of preK–1st graders and collaboration with the 2nd–5th grade crowd.

After our presentation and Q&A, principal Gillian Spero led the kids outside to see the bus. It was a thrill seeing their eyes light up when they saw the mural.

They rushed from spot to spot, pointing out discoveries, looking for the characters from their new books, and asking questions: “Is that your dog?” and “Are you really going to live in there?” and “Who did that ridiculous drawing?”

Answers: “Yes!,” “Apparently so,” and “Definitely Matthew.”

As is always the case when we go into schools, the kids had fun, asked great questions, and were excited to meet the people who’d written the book they’d been given.

This is our favorite part of what we do. We love to make books, but they’re just stacks of paper until they find themselves in the hands of a kid.

From that moment forward, anything is possible.



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The Busload of Books Tour is a year-long project to promote literacy and raise awareness of the challenges facing our nation’s public schools.

Author/illustrator duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr (that’s us) and our four kids will spend the 2022-2023 school year traveling the country in a school bus/tiny home, visiting Title I schools in all 50 states (plus DC), and giving away 25,000 hardcover books to students and teachers from underserved communities.

As we travel, we will be blogging, vlogging and posting frequently to social media. All of our content will be appropriate for bringing families and students along on our ultimate road trip.

The latest on Instagram:

The Daily Minute: 2.21.24
In which, 35 training sessions later, Jasper is ready to pilot the big cart.

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Robbi and I are heading to your fair city on Sunday for a busy week of back-to-back school visits. We’ll be doing many presentations, various lunches, several dinners, and an evening meet-and-greet. (This is where you come in.)
Should you care to meet us or greet us or give us a hug, we’ll be at the Glenside Library in Glendale Heights from 3:30-5:00pm next Tuesday night (Feb 27), meeting and greeting and hopefully seeing you.

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The Daily Minute: 2.20.24
In which Robbi is on strike, Jasper shows no mercy, and Dumbles holds strong opinions we cannot comprehend.

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The Daily Minute: 2.19.24
In which we are scheming and dreaming of fewer hats and no joy.

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Whoever you are, take your seat on the bus!

Our adventure is your adventure. Our country is your country, too. Follow along with us!