with Bruce Van Patter 2009-2010 School Visits

My visit to Jersey Shore Elementary!

It was so great visiting a school so close to my home base of Lewisburg. And what a treat to be returning to a school I remember from a long-past wonderful visit! Here's what we did today.

The assembly stories

The four ingredients: a dragon in a meadow looking for a job up against a wolf

The story: I like drawing dragons! This one lived up in the mountains but didn't like to eat sheep or other farm animals. So after a while, he started to get hungry. What was his plan? To come down to the farmlands and try to get work.

At a farm run by a wolf, he found a job. He had to clear the meadow of all the tall grass. He starts with a scythe to cut down the grass, but soon gets tired of the hard work. After all, dragons aren't use to hard farm work like de-tasseling!

So the dragon decides to make things go more quickly by burning the fields. As you can imagine, the fox isn't happy about this plan!

I liked drawing overalls on the dragon. Fun!


The four ingredients: a guy wearing polka-dot underwear and a frog t-shirt in a haunted mansion looking for a ghost dog up against a rabid -- oops! I mean a RAPID monkey.

The story: Our hero is a clown who one day found his star partner in comedy, a little scottie dog, had run away. This left him no choice but to use a monkey as a new partner.

Then one night, the clown heard a distant howling. Could that be his lost pet, Mr. Scot? He goes to find out. The monkey goes, too, but tries to get the clown to turn back before entering the spooky mansion where the howls are coming from. No luck -- the man enters the creaky, old house!

Walking nervously through the house, the man sees a trembling shape up on a table. Is it the ghost of Mr. Scot? In a way, yes. It is the dog, but now his ghost. He just has a sheet draped over him. And now, the monkey -- surprised and scared, runs away.

Why does he run? He knows the real secret -- HE put the dog in the mansion months ago to try to try to get rid of him. Little did he know his plan would come back to haunt him!


Workshop fun!

Check out these stories which all came from our workshops:

This strange creature that's in the water in the drawing on the left is a space creature. An alien boy needs the creature to help him get his space ship started. We couldn't decide in the workshop exactly how the creature in the water made the ship work, but we knew that the poor thing had ended up in a tank in a museum. The space boy wants him back.

But so does another boy from the local school where the alien boy has been going while he's here on earth. The human boy also wants to find the creature, but doesn't realize the powerful energy that can be unlocked by handling it.

There were lots of fun ideas coming together in this story!

Look at the excellent drawing of the girl on the right. Isn't that a wonderful expression? We looked at that doodle and decided that this girl had invented a glowing ball that was perfect for night time detective work! That was great for the girl, who loved to solve mysteries.

Little did she know she'd be solving the mystery of the missing ball! When it disappears, she and her trusty sidekick, a pet raccooon set out to find it. After a long and frustrating search, she finally realizes that the thief is her own pet raccoon! He had taken it so that he and his raccoon pals could do nighttime raids on people's refrigerators!

It was fun telling the kids the true story of a friend of mind who had very sneaky raccoons try to steal his food while he was camping.

That sure looks like a guilty raccoon, doesn't it?

Well, shiver me timbers! Here's a story about a pirate with a magic salt shaker! That's a combination you probably never heard before. In this tale, our pirate found crystals in a volcano which he uses as salt on his captain's food. The "salt" makes his captain do whatever the sailor wants.

The problem is that our pirate sailor is out of his powerful salt, so he has to go back to the volcano to get some more. This time, the creature that gaurds the volcano is ready for him. Our pirate looks like he's cooked! But wait! Who's that in the background, shaking things up? It's the captain, using the salt on the creature, which will make the beast retreat back into the volcano!

It was fun to hear the kids' ideas for what undersea creature could become our under-lava monster. The one that I drew was a lava eel! How creative!

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New on my site!

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

I sure love to get into the drawing of each fabulous story! I enjoy putting in to them the details that will make the stories come to life. The stories of these Jersey Shore kids are certainly worth the effort! All of them were truly creative tales.

Thanks to everyone for a great visit. And my special thanks go out to my companions for the late afternoon book signing session. It takes quite a long time to sign 150 books!

Keep up the good work! Remember these great ideas you have, kids. You have many more just waiting to come out!

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!
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