with Bruce Van Patter 2007-2008 School Visits

My visit to Somerset Schools!

Check out these stories:

The four ingredients: a lion in a dog's house looking for a book up against a coyote

The story: our hero lent a book to a dog friend. But now the dog won't return it. So one night, the lion sneaks into the dog's house to get the book back.

What he didn't realize was that there was a guest staying in the house -- a coyote. The dog had to borrow the book to learn how to be nice to his friend, the coyote, while the coyote was staying at his house.

You can see that the coyote was awakened by the lion and is howling. The dog thinks its a burglar.

I think the dog should have read the chapter about returning books to friends!

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 bunny in the jungle looking for a friend up against an alligator

The story: I enjoyed telling and drawing this story, because I made the large alligator look like a tree for the first part of the telling. So it looked like the bunny, tired and lonely on his vacation in the jungle, was leaning on the roots of a tree.

So, it seemed odd that the alligator on the left was saying, "Watch out!" That is, until I started drawing the large alligator!


The four ingredients: a dog on a football field looking for a key up against a moldy cheese man

The story: our hero dog is the watch dog at the stadium at Cheese University. At the big game against Baloney U, he begins to get suspicious that the Cheeseman mascot isn't who he says he is. In fact, the mascot is actually a Baloney U spy, trying to steal the big key that goes to the winner of the game each year.

How does the dog get it back, by getting the football players to chase after the mascot and make Cheeseman fall into a huge hole the dog has dug.

That's one smart mutt!

Workshop stories

Here's a tiger who is trying to save his friend, the bear, from a tree that snares people in its roots. The tiger is trying to reach one of the fruit, which will break the tree's power.

But a root is about to get the tiger. Looks like the bear might end up saving the tiger, instead of the other way around!


What I love about making up stories with kids is that one can start with just a silly drawing of a dog and end up with pirate squirrels, a dog on a quest and a dangerous water spout!

The squirrels have taken the dog's magic ball. She's on a quest to get it back, but each time she gets close, something happens that allows them to escape!

But when a water spout wrecks their ship and threatens to drown them, she sets out to save the squirrels even though they had been so mean. Seeing her kindness, the one squirrel risks HIS life to try to save the ball from being swept up into the spout!


How about these wonderful kindergarten portraits of my two characters from Farley Found It! Aren't they sweet? What a great idea.

I had a fabulous time working with the kids. It was a fast-paced, hectic and imaginative day.

Somerset kids -- you truly have great ideas! I hope you'll work hard to put them down on paper and share them with others!

Keep being creative, 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!

click on the images to go to the writing activities