with Bruce Van Patter 2009-2010 School Visits

My return visit to East High Elementary!

Check out these stories:

The four ingredients: a monkey on a cliff who wants a sword up against a deer

The story: our hero is a monkey who is out to rescue the sword of a prince. Without the sword, the prince can't regain his kingdom. The sword has been taken by an evil prince who wants to become the ruler of the kingdom. So, he has hidden the sword in the antlers of a deer high on a cliff.

When Oo-Oo, the monkey, tries to get the sword, the deer leaps off the cliff! What will happen? I think the sword is a magic sword and when the monkey pulls it free of the antlers, it will give the deer wings!

I love that name, Oo-Oo. A young student thought of it and it really surprised me!

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The four ingredients: a goblin in a restaurant looking for a bottle of water up against a goblin hunter

The story: Mernal is a goblin. What he really wants is to fit in with a fun group of humans. So he dresses up in a sweatshirt and goes to a restaurant with some new human friends.

When a girl orders steak, it comes a little undercooked. Infernal Mernal adds a little flame-broil action to the plate. But when the waiter sees the fire, he knows the goblin's true identity. The waiter is actually a goblin-hunter in disguise!

Mernal wants his bottle of water to try to douse the flames quickly. But he may have to squirt it in the face of the goblin hunter in order to escape!


The four ingredients: a bear in a playground looking for steak up against a penguin

The story: I feel bad for Barry the Bear. He put his lunch on the merry-go-round, just like all the other kids during recess. But now a naughty penguin has decided to make the whole thing spin. All the food from the lunches is flying out!

Luckily for Barry, the steak is aimed right toward his mouth!

I put in a Turkey just because we were near Thanksgiving.

Workshop stories

In this story, we tried to have our main character be an elephant shrew. That's what we thought the sketch on the right looked like. He's a detective. And he's found out that there's going to be an invasion into the house where he lives. Stink bugs are going to try to move in. Hundreds of them!

Since he's so good at collecting things, he finds a coin that is just the right size to plug the whole. First he pushes away the many bugs that are bothering him. But the king bug is about to really bug him!


What's with creepy bugs and spiders today? This story was all about a princess who has a magic necklace that transforms her at night to the Queen of the Spiders. Not just any spiders, mind you. We're talking FLYIING spiders!

She doesn't know that she's under this spell. When she wakes up in the morning, she has no idea of the terror she brought the kingdom in the night.

A prince who loves her is also trying to defeat the Spider Queen. When he finds her necklace on a ballroom floor (like Cinderella), he tries to find the right owner. But each girl who takes it for a night has terrible nightmares with flying spiders in them.

Here, he's giving it back to his princess love. But right before his eyes, she's changing into the evil Spider Queen!

One student described in detail how the princess might close her eyes and when she opens them again, have an evil glint in them.


Rounding out the day was a good science-fiction story about a boy who slowly starts to suspect that his real parents are aliens. Clues lead him to build three pillars in the back yard, but he's not sure why. His brother keeps trying to keep him from finding out the truth about his alien parents.

When a space ship finally lands, with each of three legs on the pillars, it puts down a chute. But no parents come out! The boy starts to weep, thinking that his parents have deserted him. What he doesn't know is that his brother, who doesn't want to lose his younger brother, has locked the alien parents in the basement! The ship has actually come to take them all home.

In this interesting story, we have a secret agent boy who's trying to find his missing dad. His dad had a recipe for "Knock-Out Muffins" -- they make anyone who comes near them faint! He suspects that an evil scientist has kidnapped his dad to get the recipe.

I had fun with this drawing, getting the fainting look on the teen boy. I think making the evil scientist a woman was a good idea, and I'm happy with the drawing. Sometimes my drawings of women aren't very pretty. And I think the robot fish that's trying to save his master is hilarious.

Fun story!


In this tale, the main character is a skateboarder who wants to do tricks on his board. No, he doesn't just want to do the usual flips and things, he wants to magic tricks! So he takes a bunny from the magic store where he works in order to turn the other boarders into "monsters."

Why? He wants to be the only really great skateboarder. So he carries around the bunny in his jacket and throws him at people. When the bunny hugs them, they turn into monsters.

But this guy knows better than to let the bunny hug him. He's the owner of the magic store and he's out to undo all the damage done by our skateboarding hero.


Here's a fun idea: a beggar in a town is supposedly spying for the pirates who left him there. His task is to find the magic stone that can transform people and creatures. His only companion is his faithful parrot, Patty the Purple Pocket Parrot.

But what he doesn't know is that Patty is working for the pirates!

When they find the transforming stone, Patty uses it first. She's transformed into her original shape -- a pirate princess!

I tried to give her a little bit of a parrot look even as a human -- without giving her some huge beak of a nose!


Finally, in this third grade story, we imagined there was a mouse who knew a whole secret "under-the-floor" world, where he explores using a glowing Lightning Ball. He got the ball from his father, who took it from the lab where he used to be a lab mouse.

But an evil chihuahua is out to get that amazing ball back for his master the lab scientist. So he goes into the tunnels after the mouse.

When they come to get out, the mouse volunteers to hold the ball for the dog while the dog squeezes his way out of the hole. Why would our hero promise to give the ball back? Because his friend , the big cat, is waiting to help.

This was a terrific two-day visit!

I was impressed by all the great story ideas. Now, East High kids, don't stop just because you're taking a break! Get those ideas down onto paper. Remember, it feels really great to have an idea to the point where you can share it with someone else.

Your stories are too good NOT to share!

Keep being creative, and check out the fun stuff on my site!

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