with Bruce Van Patter 2010-2011 School Visits

My visit to Freemansburg Elementary!

Check out these stories:

The four ingredients: a detective kid in an abandoned warehouse looking for a pet with a silly sidekick of a chef who wants him to keep eating food

The story: our hero is a high-tech genius who sets off one night to find his lost dog. He tracks his pet to an abandoned warehouse where he finds a crate of stolen pizzas that everyone has been looking for.

But his mom has followed him and wants him to finish his broccoli before going out to solve mysteries.

In the background is the chef who's angry that the boy and his dog have discovered his evil plot!

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The four ingredients: a monkey in a back yard looking for an apple up against a crocodile

The story: our hero, named George (but not Curious George!) lives in a house that has an apple tree in the back yard. His mom says to stay out of the tree because it's very dangerous. He looks up in the tree and doesn't see any danger, just delicious apples.

So, he doesn't listen to his mom and climbs the tree. Just when he climbs out on a big branch to get an apple, he finds that the branch is really a crocodile!

In the end, I think that he should offer to get the high apples for the crocodile, who is too big to get to the very top of the tree. And that way, they can share the apples!

Workshop stories

In this tale, we had a young man who finds a book that can help him control the weather. He wants to use it to impress a girl. When they go out on a picnic, he will make the overcast skies clear!

But there's a problem. A cloud follows him around. It is a living cloud! It wants to get the book from him because it doesn't want him to control the clouds.

So, just when he's about to follow the directions in the book,the cloud tears a page from it. Now his power doesn't make the clouds go away, it makes it rain -- on the girl!

Not a good start to their friendship, I think.


When a girl goes on a mission to find out what is using alien power (she has a map that shows where in the country people are using alien powers), she finds herself in an abandoned laboratory town in the Southwest. There, she finds a young man who is also tracking the signal. They become friends and look for the alien together.

What she doesn't know is that that her new friend is actually an alien who is tracking her!

To make things even more complicated, this alien/boy knows that the agency for whom the girl works is actually an evil agency. They want to trap aliens to use their power for their own purposes.

I love the title of this -- it's one step better than Area 51!


Finally, this story is about an angry duck that is training young birds to defeat a mean fish in his pond. It all started with the funny drawing on our right. And the thing that made the whole story come together was the idea, from a creative boy in the crowd, to call the duck's martial arts, Duckwando!

There's not much more to the story, but it was fun to draw the duck teaching the young songbirds the right moves. And they're all standing on turtles!

Imagine how surprised and pleased I was to find such a big sign welcoming me! I certainly did feel welcome. Everyone was so kind. Even more, everyone was so eager to make up stories. That's my kind of school!

The trick to being creative your whole life is to see how much fun it is to have your ideas enjoyed by other people. The more others enjoy your stories and drawings, the more you're going to want to keep making them.

Thanks to everyone for such a fun day!

Be creative!

While you're here, check out the fun stuff 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!
Over a hundred million wacky headlines wait for you to make them into a story!

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