with Bruce Van Patter 2006-2007 School Visits

My visit to Nitrauer Elementary!

The Assembly Stories

The four ingredients: a rabbit looking in a forest for carrots up against a lion

The story: Here we have a detective bunny. He wants to find out who took the carrots from his garden. He tracks the carrots to a forest and thinks he is close to finding his thief.

He doesn't know how close he is!

I liked drawing the sharp things in the hands of the lion, to make the kids think it was going to be scarier than it really was. The lion doesn't want to slice and dice the rabbit! He just wants a nice salad dinner with a new friend.


The four ingredients: a scientific girl in a fast food restarant with a side-kick of a crazy monkey.

The story: It's funny... I've completely forgotten what it was that she wanted. As I remember telling it, she wanted to win a science fair by inventing a monkey who could work faster than the average fast-food worker. And of course he would, with all those hands and feet to use. If he'd only use them a little more carefully!

I wonder: how gross would it be to eat french fries that were chucked by a monkey?

The workshop tales

When you start with a silly drawing like this one on the right, you end up with a weird story. In this tale, there is a city-wide contest to see what pastry will be the official dessert of the city for the coming year. Our hero, Pie Guy, is trying to make people taste his pies in an unusual way: he throws them at them. His nemesis is Cake Girl, and she's just as determined to win.

I thought the final showdown should take place in a dimly lit alley. A dessert duel. One throw to win it all. And nobody gets seconds!


Here's another story that was started by what some people might think is a mistake. The girl who drew our mermaid forgot to draw an arm, but it looks like she's hiding something behind her. We decided it would be a rare sea creature she's keeping as a pet. What she doesn't know is that when it gets angry it turns into a terrifying fish-crab thing.

When Poseidon's son steals it to give it as a gift to his father, the King of the Oceans, she has to track it down.

Not only that, she has to save the king from being attacked and possibly made into sushi by the creature. Can she calm her pet down in time?

If you look at this drawing, you'll see I forgot two things. Can you tell? Yup. There's no title and I forgot to sign it! Oh well, if I ever get invited back, I'll at least find a place for my name. But I'll leave the title up to you kids.


Last but not least is this charming story about a confident dog who thinks he can rescue his former kennel-pal. Our hero believes he can pass himself off as a human. He knows his buddy is being kept by an old lady who treats his pal like a pampered princess, which really annoys the little guy. She even calls him Fifi!

Roscoe gets himself invited over after he helps the old woman with her groceries. He almost made it through tea without tipping her off to his true identity.

Like I said... almost!


In a quick kindergarten story, an alligator goes to the beach, where he just wants to relax in the sun. But then a boy thinks it's funny to splash him. The alligator shows him what it's like to really get splashed.

In the end, they become good pals.

Wow -- four drawings in about 15 minutes. That may be a new record for me!

We had one creative day!

I had a blast drawing your stories, Nitrauer Knights! With imaginations like yours, anything can happen. I hope you saw how much fun it was to be creative. Even more importantly, I hope you'll keep it up and put your ideas down on paper.

Remember, you are creative! All of you have ideas, not just the kids who can draw and write. All of you can share ideas.

Thanks to everyone who made this day possible: to the parents who raised the money to the teachers and librarian who coordinated it. Most of all, thanks, kids, for being so willing to imagine.

While you're on my site, make sure you check out some of the fun pages I've put up.

back to main page programs Fun stuff for families schools reviews bio
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 use them to make your own story!

click on the images to go to the writing activities