Who is this Russ?
Presented by Sydney Writers’ Festival, Russ the Story Bus is a creative space where children can browse a library full of the latest children’s books, choose a book to take home, listen to a story or hear authors and illustrators talk about their craft.
Russ has been visiting schools since 2014, making 2016 his third road trip to Western Sydney as part of our annual Children’s Festival of Moving Stories. In 2016, Russ extended his travels: visiting schools in regional NSW for the first time.
An author or illustrator accompanied each of Russ's school visits to talk about their craft. The fantastic line-up of Australian writers and illustrators for children and young adults included Dub Leffler, Katrina Nannestad, Tony Wilson, James Roy, Judith Rossell and Tony Flowers.
In 2016, When Russ' exterior was covered in artwork by leading children’s book illustrator and author Shaun Tan. His interior was designed by the award-winning architectural firm Lava in 2015.
School visits from Russ are FREE, include an author talk by a leading Australian children’s writer or illustrator, and up to 30 students can visit Russ at a time (capacity: 200 students per session).
So did Russ go?
Russ visited over 40 schools in Western Sydney and regional NSW in November and December in 2016.
All visits were FREE and ran for two hours including an author talk.
Meet Russ the Story Bus Exterior Illustrator
Internationally celebrated children’s author and illustrator Shaun Tan grew up in Perth, Western Australia. His books include The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, Rules of Summer and The Arrival. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer and a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar’s WALL-E, and he shares an Academy Award® for his work on the animated short film based on his book, The Lost Thing. He has also been awarded the Dromkeen Medal for services to children’s literature and the Astrid Lindgren prize.
Meet The Authors – Western Sydney
Dub Leffler, a Bigambul man, is the author and illustrator of Once There Was a Boy. Dub has worked in animation, film, muralism and the performing arts; he has also illustrated over 20 publications. He has taught illustration in Australia and internationally and has collaborated with Shaun Tan, Sally Morgan and Banksy. Dub and his family live on beautiful Guringai country in Horsfield Bay, where he is illustrating his first title for the National Library of Australia.
Katrina Nannestad grew up in country NSW. Her adult years have been spent teaching, raising boys, perfecting her recipe for chocolate-chip bickies and pursuing her love of stories. Her books for young readers include Olive of Groves, Olive of Groves and the Great Slurp of Time, The Girl Who Brought Mischief, When Mischief Came to Town, and the Red Dirt Diary series. Katrina now lives near Bendigo with her family and an exuberant black whippet called Olive.
James Roy was born in western New South Wales in 1968 and spent much of his childhood in Papua New Guinea and Fiji. He attributes much of his early interest in books to the absence of TV, a wonderful library full of adventure books, and the opportunity to play as those characters in wild, adventuresome places. James has written a number of critically acclaimed works of fiction and non-fiction for young people, including the CBCA Honour Books Captain Mackand Billy Mack's War, and six CBCA Notable Books. In 2008, Town also won the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, as well as the Golden Inky in Australia’s only teenage choice awards. Anonymity Jones won the 2010 Western Australian Premier’s Book Award for young adult literature.
Tony Wilson’s latest picture book, The Cow Tripped Over the Moon was awarded Honour Book in the 2016 CBCA awards. He’s written more than a dozen titles aimed at both adults and children, Emo the Emu, The Thirsty Flowers, The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas and Stuff Happens: Jack. Tony is a father of four, from Melbourne, who turned to writing and the creative arts after a brief stint as lawyer. In a distant century, Tony won the ABC travel documentary series Race Around the World.
Meet The Authors – Regional NSW
Judith Rossell is a writer and illustrator of maze and puzzle books, picture books and novels, which have been published in 16 languages. She has written 12 books and illustrated 80 including Bogtrotter, by Margaret Wild. Recently, her picture book Oliver was published by Harper Collins in New York. Her illustrated novel Withering-by-Sea, won a number of awards, and the sequel, Wormwood Mire, will be published in November. She teaches writing at RMIT and the Australian Writers Centre, and has a cat the size of a walrus.
Tony Flowers is an internationally acclaimed illustrator and artist. His drawings are loved in Japan for their detail and humour and he has won an award in the US for his street chalk art. He has illustrated 16 books with author Nick Falk, including the popular Saurus Street, Billy is a Dragon and Samurai Vs Ninja series. Tony has a Master’s degree in visual communication and is a current PhD candidate at University of Canberra, studying Visual Literacy. Tony lives in Canberra with his family.
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Illustrations sourced from Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan©