Arts / ‘Russ the bus’ drives children to read

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Kids in Russ the Bus. Photo by Prudence Upton

BUSES seem to run deep in Australian culture, and now news is to hand that “Russ the Story Bus” will be touring to Canberra this week (From November 20), visiting children at Ainslie Primary School, Amaroo Primary School, Miles Franklin School, Caroline Chisolm Junior College and Bonython Primary School.

“Russ”, an initiative spearhead by Sydney Writers’ Festival, introduces young readers to authors and illustrators and encourages them in their own aspirations.

Author Damon Young

“Russ” is a fitted mobile creative space, brimming with inspiration, and so far, “he” appears to be much-loved by children wherever he goes. He’s decked out with a library full of the latest children’s books, which they can select from, taking a book of their choice home as a souvenir.

On board the bus, the children also get the chance to talk with one of the festival’s many guest Australian authors, who accompany Russ for a week, meeting with young readers and writers around the state to chat about their craft, tell a story, or share some writing tips in an informal workshop.

Melbourne philosopher and author Damon Young will be accompanying Russ on the ACT leg of his tour.

Young’s eleven books of nonfiction and children’s fiction are published internationally. His latest children’s book is “My Mum is a Magician”. He has also published poetry and short fiction, and once played a mafia thug in a Jackie Chan movie.

Each year Russ gets a makeover and in 2018 he has been adorned with artwork from author Sophie Beer’s book “Love Makes a Family”, a celebration of families and diversity.


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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