In Which We Set Out to Prove Wonder Really is Everywhere
by Matthew
August 23, 2022

For the pre-K-1st graders we meet on the Tour, we’ll be giving away a copy of Everywhere, Wonder, our picture about the importance of noticing and appreciating the beautiful and interesting things to be found wherever we go.

The point of our school presentation for this age group is that there is joy to be found in finding and sharing the things that fill us with amazement, excitement, and wonder.

And that, if you pay attention as you move through the world, such things can be found wherever you look—from the undeniably grand (the moon and the pyramids, for example) to the seemingly ordinary but still quite remarkable (the sky at sunset and ants on the sidewalk).

For example:

On July 9, I walked out onto bluff outside our cabin on the Alaskan tundra a was greeted by this pure white rainbow, the first and only one I’ve ever seen.

Here’s a shot from 2:31am on July 12, looking out our bedroom window in Alaska. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t need a caption.

There is beauty to be found in collections of things. On their own, each of these drawers would just be colorful, but together, they create pleasing contrast and a sense of purposeful gathering.

I found this image in my library and was briefly confused before realizing it’s a photo my pocket took without my permission. I love the colors and textures and gauzy, illegible message in the sky. But the thing I like best about this image is its accidental origin, as if it willed itself into existence.

I have cited four examples of things I think are wonderful, but four is not sufficient proof of wonder’s ubiquity.

If we’re going to tell the children that wonder is everywhere, I feel we should also prove it to ourselves.

To that end, I’ve decided to revive our long-dormant Everywhere, Wonder Instagram and Facebook accounts, posting photos of the grand and small treasures our family spots as we travel the country in the year ahead.

Spoiler alert: this won’t be hard. Wonder really IS everywhere.

We aim to prove it to you.


Join our adventure:

Everywhere, Wonder on Instagram

Everywhere, Wonder on Facebook 

1 Comment

  1. GODSPEED!! Everywhere wonder is universal! We’re all cheering you on!
    THANK YOU Matthew and Robbi and your beautiful family. YOU ARE ALL WONDER-FUL !!!!
    Lina Plantilla ( Maria’s mom)


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: 6.18.24
In which Robbi reports from a rainforest near Anchorage.

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And they’re off!
Robbi and the kids (the dogs) left home early afternoon yesterday. They flew to Seattle last night and caught an overnight flight to Anchorage, where they landed just after midnight Alaska time. To kill time during their 12-hour layover, they’re going to rent a car and drive down the Turnagain Arm to Portage. It’s a gorgeous stretch of road along the water.
Later today, they’ll catch a flight to King Salmon, a small tundra town which is the jumping-off point for many sport fishing adventures—and the place where the fishermen in our district catch the bush planes that take them to their various fishing camps.  
The whole trip will take about 36 hours, at which point Robbi and the kids will land on the beach and be greeted by Robbi’s brother in a pickup truck. They’ll drive to our compound, take the plywood off the windows, head to the spring to get water, hook up the solar panel, and then start setting up our fishing lines.
It’s so much work to get started every year, but they’ll be up and running by the time I reach the tundra late next Monday evening. It’s possible I’ll jump off the plane and straight into my waders. Once the fishing starts, it waits for no one.
PS - This illustration is from our picture book Sunrise Summer, which tells the story of Alden’s first season as a member of the fishing crew. It’s a great way to get a glimpse into our lives in Alaska.

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The Daily Minute: 6.17.24
In which we tape up the coolers, and Robbi’s hair proves tundra-ready.

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The Daily Minute: 6.16.24
In which Robbi leaves for Alaska tomorrow and the dogs are running free.

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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!