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)

    Reply

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Recently:

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: 12.9.22
In which, having just arrived in Texas, we plan to spend the night in Jasper County.

#busloadofbooks
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Robbi got this text from Erica Bridwell (known to friends and colleagues as “B”), the first-grade teacher who hosted Jasper during Tuesday’s visit to North Pike Elementary School in Summit, Mississippi. We signed a copy of Everywhere, Wonder for B, and Robbi had written in the dedication to “keep fighting the good fight.”
 
It’s a difficult time to be a teacher, especially at a school with limited resources and especially when serving kids who bring additional challenges to school. Educators need a boost every bit as much as their students do.
 
We’re sharing this to show that the tour is also for them, and maybe even more so. 
 
“We miss y’all! It felt like a part of us left when y’all did. Y’all have NO IDEA the impact you’re making not only on kids, but adults too! I haven’t had the easiest school year so far. I have felt defeated, frustrated, and overwhelmed. My connection with my students has felt faint and really nonexistent… I’ve struggled to find ways to motivate them, encourage them more… then y’all come along and somehow it has put fire back into me. Your words have made me reflect since I read them… “keep fighting the good fight…” it was powerful. I had that “full moon feeling” that feeling of how much I love what I do. I thought of what it means to me and what those kids mean to me. I remembered why God chose me to do this. Your kind words lifted me up. So thank you. Thank y’all. What y’all are doing is amazing! Safe travels! I’ll be following!”
...

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The Daily Minute: 12.8.22
In which we bask in the sweet Louisiana night and brace ourselves for the enormity of Texas.

#busloadofbooks
...

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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!