with Bruce Van Patter 2006-2007 School Visits

My visit to Mowrey Elementary!

Check out these assembly stories:

The four ingredients: a dog in the rainforest looking for a flower (gee, I like that idea!) up against a jaguar

The story: This adventure dog -- no relation to Max Bonker -- is in the rainforest and likes these black flowers with the long petals hanging down. He's going to pick one, but his mother is telling him not to. So is the jaguar.

Why? Because the flower is actually the jaguar's tail!


The four ingredients: a horse trainer in a ring wants respect and has a silly sidekick of a lizard-man

The story: this horse-trainer works for a circus. But she's constantly yelling at her horses, bossing them around. So her sidekick -- Lizard Man -- is taking control. He's going to ride one of the horses right out of the circus!

I thought that perhaps if she chases him around the ring, it might make a really entertaining show!

Workshop Stories

Often, a great pose in a doodle can get a great story started. I liked this cowboy on the right, drawn by two doodlers. They decided he should be winking. When I asked why he was winking, the session of kids came up with a great story about a young man who is in his uncle's cowboy school, but he doesn't want to be a cowboy. He wants to find the hidden gold that was stolen years ago by someone and buried somewhere near.

How does he know? He found a coin -- a magic coin. And it's trying to lead him to the gold. And get this... you know who stole the gold? His uncle! That's how the ranch got started!


This story had another great doodle to build on. This elf-girl came from another land and got stuck here in this world. So she's trying to get back. The only way she can do that magic is if she collects enough tears from creature who also long to return to their home. Where would she find them? At the zoo, of course.

I thought it would make an interesting story to have her traveling from cage to cage painting pictures with words of the places the animals left behind. As she catches the tears, she gets closer and closer to being able to leave herself.

Will she take the animals with her? Not if the zookeeper has a say!


Many great stories have a magic apple in them. This one has to do with an apple that can make monsters disappear. When a boy finds a monster on the loose, he has to be brave enought to enter the back yard that holds the apple tree and pluck an apple.

But there's a guard dog waiting for him. And now the monster knows he's there!

If only he could get the monster to eat the apple before the dog takes a bite out of him!


And our last story is perhaps my favorite, though that's a hard thing to choose, since I like them all. In this tale, a peasant cook becomes an emperor in China. But he longs to be back in his village, cooking the town specialty for his true love.

Then he is told by his vizier (that's a kind of a counselor for a king) that if he adds a certain ingredient to his cooking, the aroma will carry the emperor's true love back to him. So the young man tries it.

But what's this? A dragon has come back instead! I think the vizier has a plan to get rid of the young emperor!

This is a really cool story full of tasty ingredients!


A quick kindergarten story about a speedy snail.

At the end of the day, we squeezed in a fast story with the kindergarten students. We imagined that if a snail wanted an adventure, he would want to go FAST! So he rode a toy car into a city, but it goes too fast down a hill, right toward the docks and the water! Good thing this bird bailed him out!

Thanks to everyone for a great visit. And remember, ideas flow when you work with someone else. Brainstorm together and you'll find great ideas, just like our cowboy doodlers did. It's fun to be creative with a friend!

Take a few minutes and 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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