with Bruce Van Patter 2009-2010 School Visits

My visit to Mill Road

Another day, another great E-town school! For extra fun, I turned the board on which I was drawing the assembly art so that I had a rare up-and-down image, rather than the usual side-to-side. I enjoy giving myself new challenges! And the drawings turned out really well, I think. Most of the credit for that goes to the Story Teams that gave me such interesting ingredients for the drawings!

The assembly drawings

The four ingredients: a pirate cowboy in an ice cream store looking to get respect up against a giant platypus

The story: What an interesting group of ingredients!

I decided that the cowboy is a pirate who has been stuck in Australia where he was forced to find a job since his ship sunk with all his gold on board. He finds work at a local ice-cream parlor. After a few years, he's so good at it, they name the place after him.

But he feels badly that no one sees him as a fearful captain any more. He longs to have just one more chance to do something daring.

His chance comes when a giant, demanding platypus comes in and orders ice cream, is rude, then tries to leave without paying. Our pirate-cowboy Bill isn't going to put up with that! This is his chance to be a real hero!

I like puns. And I don't think I've ever been able to do a double-pun in a drawing before. So I'm mighty proud of what the pirate says.


The four ingredients: a bunny on a hill looking for a magic gem up against a wolf

The story: In this TALE a bunny wants a friend. No one seems to like her. So when she hears that a magic gem will grant her a wish, she sets out to climb the mountain to find it.

She gets to the top and pulls out the gem. But before she can wish, a mean wolf pushes her! He wants the gem, too.

Oh, no! Our poor bunny is falling! I thought she should call out, "I just wanted a friend!" And then the wolf would wish wings for her. Then she could fly back up and maybe even take the wolf for a ride with her new bunny-wings!

The workshop stories

We started this story with the idea of a fairy doctor, who lives in the woods and treats people with herbal medicine that she buys from forest creatures. Then we built a tale in which her human step-sister is kidnapped by a

doctor who lives in the woods and wants her fairy wings to complete his own strange medicine. He uses the human girl to lure the fairy into his cottage.

But the man's dog smells the fairy and when the man gets the wings, the dog leaps at him. In the meantime, the fairy uses her spare wings to heal her sister with magic dust.


I don't often get a banjo as a main ingredient in a story. In fact, I don't think I've ever had a banjo in a story before. But here we have a medieval tale of a banjo player who can trap music in his magical banjo. He steals other people's music to become a famous musician.

But the magic is driven by his strings, and when one breaks, he has to get a new string.

That's not so easy because the strings come from the hair of a unicorn kept by the king in his castle. And to make matters worse, the baker who works in the kitchen next to the unicorn stables used to be a musician himself -- until our banjo player stole his melodies!

So here we can see the baker distracting the player with a fresh pie so that he can grab and destroy the thief's banjo!


A girl detective who lives on a New England island is a secret detective. She has invented an amazing magnifying glass that can reveal all kinds of secrets.

She finds an ancient diary, from her great grandmother that tells her that the woman was not guilty of stealing money from a church.

It's a family scandal that has existed for a hundred years!

But when our detective tries to dig into the truth, her great-grandmother's ghost appears to scare her off. What's this she sees? There's a human under the glow of the ghost!


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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!



Five stories, one fun day! Mill Road kids have wonderful stories in them. It takes effort to put them on paper, but the end result is worth the trouble. It feels really good to have something you dreamed up be something other people can share and enjoy.

Keep up the good work!

And check out some of the fun stuff I have 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!
Strange news is happening! Let my Headline Maker give you a really weird headline. Then write a story!

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