with Bruce Van Patter 2008-2009 School Visits

My visit to Fort Washington Elementary!

Check out these stories:

The four ingredients: a gilled superhero on top of the Statue of Liberty looking for a diamond guitar with a silly sidekick of a vampire alien kid

The story: Wow! What a combination! So I thought that there is a superhero fish guy who lives in the New York City harbor and protects the Statue of Liberty. When he sees this alien kid who looks like a vampire using a shining guitar-like thing, he splashes up to grab it.

But he doesn't know that the alien kid is actually trying to use his disruption ray to mess up the controls of invading alien ships!

In addition to all the free material on this site, I have downloadable books that are perfect for keeping kids writing in school or at home!

(click on books to see)

The Adventures of Pirate Dog
Picture prompts are a great way to inspire kids to write! Here are 26 of my best drawings with fun, pre-writing worksheets

Write Your Own
Cartoons!
Kids can add the
dialogue and their special touches to my funny comic strips filled with wacky characters!

Sparks: Year One
Here’s a fantastic resource for teachers: a whole year of weekly creative writing lessons built around wacky holidays!

More to come!


The four ingredients: a dog on top of the White House looking for a book written by the president up against an evil cow!

The story: our hero dog is the only one who notices a cow mascot for the dairy industry is actually a spy from a club of evil cows, trying to steal the president's plan for the dairy industry. Why does he take the children's book the president has written? Because the cow can't read! Our hero is trying to swap the book with a silly book about making a milk shake.

I like how this tale tied into the reading that all the kids have been doing!

Workshop stories

This story has a great setting: a ruined city that only appears when the tide goes out. A girl has rescued a turtle from the ruins, but she doesn't know that the turtle is actually the key to revealing the treasure. And her boss, an ex-surfer treasure hunter, wants it.

So she hides in the ocean until the surfer shows up with the turtle. As she rises up to stop him, they're both unaware that the huge mother turtle is looming up behind them!


Here's a unique combination: a cowboy genii story. We imagined that this cowboy used to be a genii but has escaped his lamp and tried to settle into a western town, using his magic to help people without revealing his true identity.

But when he starts hanging out with a local girl, her father steals the lamp!

He wants to make the genii grant him wishes. And if he also keeps the girl away from him, all the better.

But when he starts to draw the genii back into the bottle, the boy drags the girl with him! It was fun drawing the two of them swirling into vapor.


This is one of my favorite drawings of the year. In this story, an alligator who escaped from a weird zoo keeps coming back and rescuing animals. The lady zoo keeper is desperate to stop him.

Things get tricky when the gator comes to rescue an animal that doesn't want to go with him: a flying elephant. When the alligator falls into a trap, though, the elephant tries to help.

I've drawn many flying animals, but this one is a first!

I think this photo is funny. It looks like the old cowboy is surprised at being drawn! Or maybe he's surprised at the artist drawing him. It reminds me that making up stories is a surprising thing. And invented stories is a wonderful surprise.

I hope you Fort Washington kids had as good a time as I did. You were really fun to work with. Now I expect there will be some amazing stories and drawings come out of your incredible imaginations.

Don't forget to check out the fun things I have on my site!

back to main page
programs Fun stuff for families schools reviews bio store
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!
Over a hundred million wacky headlines wait for you to make them into a story!

click on the images to go to the writing activities