with Bruce Van Patter 2009-2010 School Visits

My visit to Ebner Elementary!

On my first trip to Altoona, PA, I found a large school filled with energetic, imaginative kids! We had a day filled with wonderful ideas, from flying carpets to a frozen caveman date! Check out the stories.

The assembly drawings

The four ingredients: a dog in a scary house looking for lots of dogs up against a bunny

The story: I had to cut down on the number of dogs and made it about a dog who is looking for his lost nephews. They've disappeared, but our hero is a great tracker. So he follows their trail to a spooky house.

Once inside, he hears a creepy "OOOOOO!" He's scared, but he still follows the sound. It leads him to a chest. Trembling, he opens the chest and finds his nephews dressed up like carrots!

What's that evil bunny up to? I don't know, but Mr. Dog -- look behind you!


The four ingredients: a caveman in a freezer looking for help with a silly sidekick of a furry woman

The story: This was fun to draw! I imagined that two frozen cavepeople were discovered, carved out of the ice and put in a freezer. But the freezer stops working and they're slowing thawing.

Apparently they were on a date at the time of their frozen fate. His name is Ug. And apparently he's not all sweet on his girlfriend. He looks at her and thinks, "Ugh!"

Dude, that's cold!

The Workshop Stories

In this story, we had a fantastic combination: a flying carpet and a father's office. We imagined a kid who invented a flying carpet and didn't like to listen to his parents. When his dad was late coming home one night, the boy decided to take action.

Here he is "rescuing" his father from his meeting. Apparently the boss doesn't think this is a good idea. And neither does the boy, now that the elevator door is closing!

This was a great example of how combining ideas can come up with a truly original idea.


And here's another original idea that started with this cool doodle on the right. Can you tell what that guy does for a living? He's a gardener, with a tank of spray on his back. We used that to come up with a story about a guy who is really good at tracking moving plants.

Moving plants, you ask? Yes, in our story there is a fenced forest where plants can move around like animals. Our hero is really good at going in with his invention and vaccuuming up seeds.

But when his girlfriend sends him in to get her a jewel seed from a dangerous plant, he gets more than he can handle.

I had to laugh when, after I had drawn the girl saying "Yoo-hoo!" in the background, a student suggested the guy should say, "I'm a little BUSY!" So I added it. Wonderful!


Finally, here's an unusual pirate story. It's all about a reluctant pirate captain who gets his courage and advice from a fish that he wears for a hat! When his jealous sister steals it to reveal how phony he is, he has to track her down and make a deal.

What I like about this story is that we avoided all the usual pirate elements -- the eye patch, the hook, the parrot, etc. This is quite a new and different pirate tale! That's the way I like all my stories -- original!


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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've posted videos! See my drawing in action below.

That was a great day! Thanks to everyone who helped, and for the kindness of those who helped to fund the visit. And Ebner kids, remember that these stories can be just a few examples of the kind of thinking you can do. Just follow the simple steps we talked about, and you'll have many, many more tales like these ones.

Remember... you have great ideas. Share them!

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