Hello Wonderful Title I Educators!

Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr here—author/illustrator, husband/wife creators of picture books and illustrated middle grade novels.

We spent the 2022-2023 school year traveling the country in our tiny home school bus, visiting Title I schools in all 50 states on the Busload of Books Tour.

We wish we could have visited your school in person, and perhaps we will someday, but for now we’re offering the next-best thing—FREE ACCESS (for Title I educators) to videos of our Tour presentations, drawing demos, and supporting educational materials for all elementary ages.

The presentations are funny, high-energy, and supported by more than 100 illustrations, photos, and animations. We hope they might bring a bit of fun, laughter, and creative spark to your classrooms and community.

(or read on to learn more about our presentations)

(click HERE if you have already received your access password but have lost track of the link)

Presentation for Pre-K – 1st Grade

That Full Moon Feeling

Finding the Wonder and Telling Your Story

Using our picture book Everywhere, Wonder as a guide, we describe the process of working together to write and illustrate a picture book—emphasizing themes of observation, discovery, storytelling, and creative empowerment.

Supporting materials prompt students to create and share their own stories—and a drawing demo teaches them how to draw a bear!

Presentation for 2nd – 6th Grade

Bulldozers in the Fog

The Power of Creative Expression

With our middle grade series Cookie Chronicles as a backdrop, we describe our creative process and the wonderful weirdness of language—using proverbs as a framework for sharing empowering ideas and encouraging creative exploration.

Supporting activities challenge students to match proverbs with their meanings—and a drawing demo teaches them how to draw Dumbles the Dog!

To access this free content, fill out the form below, and confirm you work for a Title I-eligible school. Once you submit the form, you’ll receive an email with a password and a URL that will lead you to the content!

Note: These materials are for Title I educators only to share within their Title I communities. Like most creators, we can’t usually offer free access to our presentations, as school visits provide an essential source of income while giving students an invaluable opportunity to interact with us in person. But we’re aware that many schools – including most receiving Title I funding – are unable to afford author visits. For that reason, we’re extending the benefits of the Tour to more schools by providing this free content for Title I educators to share with their classrooms and communities. All others should click HERE to learn more about paid in-person or virtual visits or workshops.

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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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!