- Rusty is perfectly happy at home on his Goondiwindi farm, until his family go on holidays to the beach. He finds himself left at home with Farmer Gruff and Grandma Jude, who are not interested in playing with him. Fed up, Rusty sets out on his own holiday, hitching a ride on board a semi-trailer. After an exciting adventure on the road, he winds up in South Australia, a very long way from home. Despite being treated like a VIP guest, he desperately misses his family and is delighted when he discovers they are also missing him. Reunited back on the farm, Rusty and his family realise that holidays and adventure are fun, but nothing compares to the comfort of home and loved ones.
- Sally Scudamore is a Speech Pathologist and first-time author, originally from Goondiwindi, South East Queensland. Sally grew up on a farm with two brothers, two sisters, a mother, and a father who all love to tell fantastic tales. These stories are most often inspired by the everyday antics of a core group of quirky farm animals. Sally now has ten nieces and nephews, for whom the family tradition of storytelling has continued. When Sally moved to the United Kingdom in 2016, sharing stories over video chat became the way to maintain relationships and connection with her nieces and nephews. Rusty, often the star of these stories, saw the potential for a wider audience and took matters into his own paws. He pulled quite the publicity stint when he made his adventure to Snowtown, South Australia. The overwhelming public interest in Rusty’s story was the catalyst for Sally to create a book which captures not only Rusty’s mischievous ways, but a little of rural Australian culture.
Lexie Watt paints realistically in watercolour and inks and has won numerous awards for watercolour and drawing. Her main focus and love is the Australian landscape in all its wonderful colours. After teaching and painting porcelain art for twenty-two years, Lexie taught herself to paint in watercolour. Transparent inks and watercolour are a joy and constant source of amazement (sometimes frustrating), working in many washes and buildups. Lexie lives in the northern suburbs of Illawarra with the escarpment and ocean to enjoy every day, taking her border collie dog for walks each day to explore and appreciate all that it has to offer. Lexie has illustrated numerous of children’s books. Chookies, one of the books she wrote and illustrated, was nominated for the CBCA Awards in 2009.
- * The story is told from the perspective of Rusty in a plucky, mischievous tone with Australian colloquialisms, which is likely to appeal the humour of both children and adults. The use of rhyme is clever for rhythm, and also supports sound play and early phonological awareness development for literacy.
* The illustrations are just magnificent and compliment the humour of the story perfectly. They capture a varied Australian landscape and would appeal to an international as well as Australian audience.
* The story is based on a true story which was widely publicised through social media, newspapers and television news in 2018. The main character, Rusty, has an established public personality and maintains an Instragram account (username @rustyscudamore). There are towns mentioned throughout the story which are likely to stimulate local interest.
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