The Bus Posts
In Which Our Tiny Home Emerges (A Glimpse Inside the Bus)

In Which Our Tiny Home Emerges (A Glimpse Inside the Bus)

The bus exterior has been amply documented. But in case you missed it, here it is, colorfully adorned with a literacy-themed mural, painted with love and persistence by Robbi and me and a bunch of our friends and a few hundred kids and community members. "But what...

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In Which We Are Finally Finished With the Mural

In Which We Are Finally Finished With the Mural

Last night around 9:30... After a marathon session of outlining clouds and applying a layer of clear coat, we finally finished the mural. Surely there will be nicks along the way and the necessary patchwork that follows, but for now we are done and moving on to the...

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In Which Robbi Does the Line Work for the Bus Mural

In Which Robbi Does the Line Work for the Bus Mural

The color is in. So it's time to add the final line. It's patient, painstaking work, but the results are so gratifying. This stage of the process is all Robbi, so my work for the moment is bringing her snacks and loudly exclaiming. Delight and calories in equal...

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Cookie of Perfection on the ALA Summer Reading List

Cookie of Perfection on the ALA Summer Reading List

Switching for a moment from bus to books... We just found out Cookie of Perfection (book 3) was included on the American Library Association Summer Reading list (alongside such creators as Kate DiCamillo, Jason Reynolds, Dav Pilkey, and Jenni Holm, among others)....

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In Which Many Hands Make Light Work

In Which Many Hands Make Light Work

Last week, the kids made a great start on the mural coloring. Yesterday, we recruited a spirited corps of semi-professional painters to continue the work. We divided and conquered, expanding the sky, filling the fields, and mixing a new shade of green to round out the...

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Black and Gray Give Way to Blue and White

Black and Gray Give Way to Blue and White

Day four of bus mural painting was short but gratifying. We set aside the black paint and picked up the white and blue. Suddenly, the sky came alive, as did the pages of the many books that dot this literary landscape. It's so fun to see the outline turn into a living...

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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: 6.18.24
In which Robbi takes an early-morning drive along the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet.
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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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Whoever you are, take your seat on the bus!

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