This is the story of the adventure of a little boy named Sheldon and his dog, Jet. When Sheldon’s best friend moves away, Sheldon spies the word “Jupiter” painted on the side of the moving truck. Sheldon feels sad at first, but realizes that this is a sign—what he needs is a rocket ship! So Sheldon and Jet do some sketching and some scrounging, and, with a wagon full of equipment and supplies, the two future astronauts head to the backyard. With a glop and a wham, piece by piece the ship begins to take form, and soon it’s Commander Sheldon A. Flyer and Space Cadet Jet ready for takeoff! The duo jets around satellites, zooms by planets, speeds through space storms, and zips past other flying saucers . . . until plop, they’ve arrived, somewhere with a green, alien life-form and a furry black blob.
This book encourages children to channel loneliness and boredom with creativity and imagination, and ultimately it is a story of new friendship. Featuring vibrant illustrations by debut author and illustrator Russ Cox, this action-packed story is sure to appeal to young readers in search of something that is out of this world!
Russ Cox grew in the hillbilly-infested woods of Tennessee, and those were just his crazed relatives. Without much in the way of modern conveniences, like a television set or running water, he spent many days drawing, whittling, and throwing dirt clods at his cousins. Having been born into a family with a flair for racing, he had hoped that the racing and mechanic DNA flowed through his blood, but after dismantling his grandfather's lawn mower engine, and without a clue on how to get it back together, he soon realized that he should go back to drawing. When not drawing, he would watch endless hours of monster movies, Warner Brothers cartoons, and reading comic books. Wyle E. Coyote and Daffy Duck provided him with new ways to torment his evil cousins. While in high school, he developed an interest in graphic design and a passion for music. Upon hearing this news, the school's automotive shop teacher threw a celebration party. After graduating high school, he got a graphic design degree at a local art school. With a portfolio in his hand, he ventured into the world of design and illustration where he worked for various design and advertising agencies until the illustration urge just grew too big to ignore any longer. With his wife giving him a swift kick-start in the rump, he opened his own studio, Smiling Otis Studio, where he presently specialize in illustration for the children's market and children's books. Russ also found time to teach various non-automotive classes at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design for several years.
Recently he and ma packed up the (Subaru) wagon and headed to the wilderness of Maine where they have setup a homestead in Pittsfield. When not drawing, running amok in the snow, or trying to learn the fine art of moose juggling, he enjoys some quiet time with his banjo while taking in the beauty of Maine. His poor wife would prefer for him to play the triangle or build a sound proof room.
He has illustrated Freddy the Frogcaster series (Regnery Kids), written by Janice Dean; Puppy Pirates series (Penguin Random House) written by Erin Sodersberg; Merry Moosey Christmas (Islandport Press), written by Lynn Plourde; and many other children’s books. Faraway Friends (Sky Pony Press) is his first book as both author and illustrator.
Russ lives in Maine with his supportive wife, Lynn, and their 4 cats that serve as creative and art directors to his work. Seeing no fur balls on a drawing or painting is their stamp of approval.