with Bruce Van Patter 2009-2010 School Visits

My visit to Aston Elementary!

It's always great to visit a school so close to where I grew up! Check out the stories we invented:

The assembly drawings

The four ingredients: a monkey at a messy desk looking for a rock up against a fat tiger

The story: First , let me say that I love that combination! I especially think the setting of a messy desk is an original idea. I don't think I've ever had that before.

The story is basically about this monkey who brings in his pet rock to school and plays with it so much, the teacher has to take it. I thought it was interesting that the kids all thought the tiger was the principal!

I liked that many of the kids could relate to having something they played with too much in school.


The four ingredients: a monkey girl in a jungle looking to return to civiliation up against a shark man

The story: I generally don't like drawing mutant people -- you know, half-this and half-that. But here we have a fun one. A girl scientist has mixed her dna with monkey dna as an experiment. But she's not accepted by the monkeys, so she's trying to return to civilization.

When her fellow researcher, who has also been working with rainforest animals, shows up, he's not interested in helping her become more famous than he is, so he uses his powers to make his piranha friends attack! Okay, he's not a shark-man... but there aren't any sharks in the Amazon!

The workshop stories

This princess is really not a nice girl. She's quite mean to all her subjects. But she does have one friend -- her pet creature, which she found in the moat one day.

Her father, not knowing his daughter's friendship with the beast, announces that anyone who would slay the monster would have his daughter's hand in marriage!

But the princess is not going to let that happen! Don't mess with this princess!


A boy invents a time machine to go back in time to get a dinosaur egg to help out his team of students working for a science fair. So, back in prehistoric times, he grabs the egg and dashes for his machine.

But just as the dinosaur mother slams into the machine, the egg starts to hatch!

And just if that's not enough trouble, the volcano nearby starts to erupt!

That's a lot of action for one story! I love it!


Oddly, we ended up with two egg stories. That's because I drew an oval shape in both of the warm-up doodles. I've got to make a mental note to draw other kinds of shapes!

Here, we have a flying pig who is supposed to be babysitting a chicken's egg. But when he turns his back, a sneaky fox takes it!

Our pig hero tracks down the fox. But the angry hen is tracking down the pig! So I thought it would be funny and rather smart of the pig to make the chicken accuse the fox so that the pig could swoop in and save the egg!

It was hard unscrambling all the story ideas we had. At least we made sure the story, in the end, was over easy.


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I love random connections! Here's a page that will create random What If Questions to help you start stories!



I hope you Aston students enjoy the drawings and the stories we made together. Remember, they came out of your creative brains! As you look at the drawings, remember how much fun it is to make up stories.

Keep being creative and make sure you share your work with friends.

While you're here, check out some of the fun stuff I have on my site!

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Pick the ingredients to stories and click through to see how I've started them. Then you finish the story!

Make a character out of some funny people I've drawn for you!
Strange news is happening! Let my Headline Maker give you a really weird headline. Then write a story!

click on the images to go to the writing activities