with Bruce Van Patter 2005-2006 School Visits

My visit to New Market Elementary!

Teaming up with other people is one of the best ways to come up with new ideas. And this school was a great place to find kids ready to work together to make up fun, original stories! Just let me show you what I mean...

The fun of putting ideas to paper!

Here are the two drawings from the assemblies:

What the kids gave me: a lion, in a house, wants a star, up against a ninja monkey. So this lion wants to look at a star, but his friend, the ninja monkey, won't share the telescope. So the lion is getting in the way, but is getting the monkey all excited and afraid! (During the evening program, a first-grade boy gave me direction on how to make the monkey more ninja-like. The mask was his idea, and it's a good one!)

What the kids gave me: a vampire bat in a cave wants a friend, but has a silly sidekick, a duck. So here, the bat thought it would be fun to have a duck around, but got tired of his quacking. What he didn't know was that the duck was an expert story-teller, but the bat couldn't speak duckish. So he's sending him away, but soon will feel sorry and set out to find him.

During the evening show, for parents and kids, we pulled out words that made the headline in this drawing.

When I got up the next morning, I realized it had been a full moon the night before. How cool is that?

Creative Kids At Home!

I've recently begun asking students in schools what kind of creative things they've been doing at home. One class had so many interesting things, I had to write them down. Here's a partial list:

• made a plane with popsicle sticks
• invented a game of tag with a remote-controlled car as "it"
• built a wheelchair for stuffed animals
• wrote a book about squirrel characters
• sculpted a working volcano with his dad
• made a bed for stuffed animals
• created a comic called "The World of Buddy & His Buddy"
• assembled a costume out of bits of other superhero costumes


You know, New Market kids, it was fun to draw for you. I loved getting our heads together to make up stories. But don't let the fun stop because I had to leave. Keep using your ideas and sharing them. That's the best way to keep the fun from ending!

New workshops, new ideas!

Check out these stories:

We had one story in which farm animals competed with a pig for the best hair on the farm. (It takes special mud.)

In another story, a father flamingo tries to rescue his chicks from a wild man in the swamp who plans to make them fish for him.

A dog mastermind is getting a boy to release animals in the neighborhood. They get their hands full with a kitten who is so thankful, she won't leave them alone.

An artist kid needs help on his quest. He has to convince this shop owner that he is an artist, though, before he can get help.

A cat is running out of his magic popcorn and must go on a quest to get some more from the Food Lion! So he offers a mouse. This was my chance to draw a mouse upside-down, since once I made a kid draw one upside-down by mistake.

If you smile too much, people think you're strange. Here, this girl uses her magic to make her new boyfriend smile all the time, too.

This girl is a spy, trying to get the secret ingredient to making coffee loved by everyone. But the owner of the tea shop she's in, Mr. Sipps, has switched the potion to one that will make coffee undrinkable. (And I thought coffee already was undrinkable! Yay, tea!)

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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