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Van Patter, Bruce

Van Patter, Bruce


Married; children: four.


Home—Lewisburg, PA. E-mail—[email protected]


Illustrator, author, and host of motivational workshops. Commercial illustrator for clients including McDonald's, Crayola, Children's Television Workshop, Nature Conservancy, and Hewlett-Packard. Artist-in-residence for schools; lecturer and presenter to schools, civic groups, and other assemblies.

Awards, Honors

Borders Books Original Voice designation, 2006, for Farley Found It!



(With Scott Weidensaul; and illustrator) Max Bonker and the Howling Thieves, Fulcrum Publishing (Golden, CO), 1996.

Farley Found It!, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2006.


Lisa M. Schab, My Dad Is Getting Married Again, Center for Applied Psychology (King of Prussia, PA), 1996.

Amy O'Neil, There's No Space like Home, Abrams (Waterbury, CT), 2002.

Colleen Barile, A Super Day for Sailing, Abrams (Waterbury, CT), 2002.

Starr Meade, Grandpa's Box: Retelling the Biblical Story of Redemption, P & R Publishing (Phillipsburg, NJ), 2005.

William McElwee Miller, Tales of Persia: Missionary Stories from Islamic Iran, P & R Publishing (Phillipsburg, NJ), 2005.

Johanna Spyri, Heidi, edited by Randela Mack Hunsicker, P & R Publishing (Phillipsburg, NJ), 2006.

Also illustrator of Wacky Animals, Don't Tell!, The Plant That Almost Ate the World, The Dog Lover's Survival Guide, and The Cat Lover's Survival Guide. Author of e-book Sparks: Creative Writing Lessons That Kids Will Love! and "Sparks" teacher newsletter. Author of column for parenting magazine.


Bruce Van Patter is an artist who has dedicated his career to inspiring children with an interest in art. In his many presentations to schools and other groups of young people, he uses his skill as an artist to involve children in a host of workshop activities that teach storytelling basics while also unleashing children's natural creativity. As Van Patter noted on his home page, "I've been to nearly 200 schools and worked with over 80,000 students. I believe in the power of kids' imaginations, and work very hard to give students a taste of the fun of generating an original idea." In each presentation, Van Patter inspires his young storytellers by bringing to life their original tale through his impromptu art. As he explained, "[When] I started visiting schools … I found that I love the challenge of drawing on the spot. There's nothing like the immediacy of drawing in front of a live audience, and being caught up in the flow of their creativity."

In addition to his work for schools, Van Patter has worked as a commercial artist for over two decades, and his illustrations for children's books include a new edition of Johanna Spyri's Heidi. As a storyteller, he collaborated with friend Scott Weidensaul on the ecology-focused picture book Max Bonker and the Howling Thieves, while his original picture book Farley Found It! was inspired by a brainstorming workshop he hosted at an elementary school in his home state of Pennsylvania. The suggestions from the kindergarten students in attendance resulted in the creation of a sheep who is afraid of the dark and looking for a place to

hide. That character became Farley in Farley Found It! In Van Patter's story, Farley finds the perfect place to hide in a comfy doghouse near his home meadow. The only problem is that the doghouse in question is the home of Edna the dog. With a wooly sheep stuffed inside, Edna has no place to sleep, so night after night she attempts to move her doghouse in the hope that Farley will not be able to find it. What poor Edna does not realize—but what Van Patter reveals to readers in the book's humorous art—is that Farley is on the watch each time the pup attempts a move. Finally, a surprising thing happens that allows both Farley and Edna to get a good night's sleep.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Bruce Van Patter Home Page, (October 27, 2007).

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