It’s story time with Russ the Bus

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I like reading because it isn’t a time waster and it’s fun,” — Ethan, 7.”I like the pictures the most because illustrators really bring out the magic out of books and the words because sometimes you can’t see what the author is thinking in the words,” Isabella, 12. When eight-year-old student Rohit Igoor writes a story, it is usually about dinosaurs or creatures “because they’re cool”.For 10-year-old Emily Fisk, fantasy books are her stories of choice while she has recently written a story about Ruby the gypsy.These are the sorts of ideas and storytelling skills Australian authors are hoping to inspire in students aboard Russ the Story Bus, a travelling library that will make its way around schools in western Sydney and regional New South Wales for the next six weeks.It is one of a number of initiatives in the Children’s Festival of Moving Stories that launched this week.The bus, which has been painted by artist Shaun Tan, houses a library full of children’s books that students can take home. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
Inspiring storytellingThis is the third year the Children’s Festival of Moving Stories has been held and the first time the Russ the Story Bus will visit regional schools.It is a key part of the Sydney Writers Festival’s focus on developing literary skills and introducing young people to authors and illustrators.Along with the bus, workshops and author talks will be held at libraries in western Sydney for primary and secondary students.”The fact we can visit the schools is a bonus for the children who may come from families where English is a second language and they don’t have access to books in the same way,” Clare Sawyer, head of children’s programs, said.”We hope [the bus] can prompt they’re imagination, make them think more loosely and widely and more innovatively, to think about where stories come from and what stories they can make up for themselves.” (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
Travelling with the bus each week will be an author or illustrator.James Roy, who has written books like Captain Mack and Billy Mack’s War, said much of his inspiration came from what he saw around him.”It’s really easy to think that stories are all involving heroes or people who can do amazing things or have wacky adventures,” Roy said.”But in actual fact a lot of the more important stories are kids’ own stories and the things they struggle with every day.”I’ve been all over the world talking to kids about writing stories and it doesn’t matter where you go … Photo:
Children can browse Russ the Bus and choose a book to take home. the same things worry them and the same things excite them.”My favourite book is …For the students at Seven Hills Public School, their stories of choice when they hopped into Russ the Bus were varied.”I love reading about Ella and Olivia because it’s about her diaries and she’s also seven years old,” — Maxine, 7.”My favourite books are about finding ways to do things and having to choose your own way to go. Photo:
James Roy says he draws inspiration from the everyday experiences of kids.

702 ABC Sydney


Amanda Hoh


November 04, 2016 14:21:08

Students from Seven Hills Public School explore Russ the Story Bus. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
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