Featured Explorer: Anna Fitzpatrick

At Story Planet, we work with some of the most amazing, inspiring, and truly wonderful humans on the planet, and we’d love for you to learn more about them too!

We would like to introduce you to one of our stellar long-time volunteers, Anna Fitzpatrick. Anna is not only a dedicated volunteer who is adored by children all over the GTA, she is a fabulous Toronto writer and journalist, and overall great person.

Check out her responses below!

1. Favourite planet to live: I only have experience living on planet earth, but Sailor Venus is my favourite of the Sailor Scouts so I’ve always gotten a good vibe about there.

2. Favourite book or the last great one you read: Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

3. Favourite writers: All the young writers I meet through Story Planet, of course! For grownups, I love Shirley Jackson, Jack Handey, and Monica Heisey

4. Favourite thing to do on Earth: I’m addicted to Duolingo, an app that helps you learn new languages. They’ve yet to add Martian, so for now I’m just practicing Russian.

5. Favourite Earth food: Love me some mashed potatoes

6. Favourite moment/memory from your experience at Story Planet: Once in a story writing workshop we were coming up with a character, and one of the students suggested it be “Tall like Miss Anna.” I felt so seen.

Story Planet is Looking for Volunteers!

At Story Planet, we love and appreciate every single one of our amazing volunteers, and we would love to have more folks join our incredible team!

We are looking for volunteers to help us with our in-school workshops for the Winter Term (January – March, 2018). The application deadline is Thursday, November 29 @ 11:59pm. Please read through the details below thoroughly to find out more about how to apply.

As a workshop volunteer, you will:

  • Support Story Planet facilitators & artists during our high-energy literacy workshops in school all over the GTA
  • Work one-on-one with students to help them build their confidence as well as their communication and writing skills
  • Be a mentor to students of all ages, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12
  • Get loads of great experience working with children and youth in groups and one-on-one
  • Have loads of fun and be totally inspired!

To become a Story Planet workshop volunteer, you must be able to commit to:

  • Volunteering with us for the entire winter term (January – March)
  • Volunteering 3 hours per week between 8am – 3pm, Monday – Friday (our workshops take place during school hours, and will be scheduled in advance)
  • Travelling to various schools in the GTA where we conduct workshops
  • Completing a vulnerable sector police check (this will be done through Story Planet, and costs $20)
  • Attending a volunteer orientation and training session in December, 2017.
HOW TO APPLY
If you are interested and able to meet all of the above requirements, please email the volunteer coordinator Liz Mochrie at volunteer@storyplanet.ca with the subject line: “Volunteer Application for Winter Term.” 

In your email, please provide a brief explanation (2 – 3 sentences) of why you would like to volunteer with us. After that, you will be sent the full volunteer application form as well as further details.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!

“Victoria’s Adventure” by Ms Bourgeois’s Grade 4 Class

Artwork by Giovanna Galuppo

Our Character:

  • A female, green-skinned alien from Mars named Victoria who plays professional soccer for Germany
  • She’s famous
  • She really wants to win the world cup
  • She’s 28 years old
  • She has one turquoise eye and wears glasses
  • Has blonde hair past her shoulders
  • Has 5 mouths and a long purple tongue, and has sharp teeth
  • Has 4 arms and hands and 1 leg with a robot wheel for a foot
  • She can fly and make herself invisible
  • When she get mad while playing soccer, she can “ice” her opponents or the referee (which gets her a red card)
  • She is joyful and super nice, but is grumpy in the morning
  • She saves people
  • She lives in Mexico
  • She plays soccer in May
  • Her family is all red-skinned and lives on Mars
  • She is afraid of toasters, heights, bees, and raccoons at night
  • She is allergic to water and drinks lava
  • She eats wood and grass (grass is like ice cream to her)

Our Setting:

  • An island  with a big beach that is very hot, smells like fish, and has a big shark on the beach
  • There is a forest and big mountains
  • The forest is filled with trees that grow fruit, chirping birds, and in the forest you can hear whispering voices and creepy laughter
  • There is a jungle with a secret cave made of rocks
  • In the cave there is a sleeping, snoring dragon protecting the gold
  • There is grassland with two foxes that live in it
  • There is also a swamp that is very muddy where a crocodile lives
  • On the island there is also a museum that is full of dinosaur bones
  • Outside the museum there are two statues of lions and a creepy song playing
  • There is a fun fair with a bouncy castle and a creepy castle

Victoria’s Adventure

Victoria was playing in the most important game of her soccer career in Germany! She was the second most famous soccer player in Germany because she had four arms and hands, one leg with a wheel for a foot, five mouths, and a long purple tongue. Some of her teammates didn’t want to be her friend because she looked a little bit different. This was because Victoria was a green-skinned alien from Mars. She was allergic to water and could only drink lava, so she turned glasses of water into lava, which always made her teammates a little nervous.

Victoria wanted to have an unlimited supply of lava, and she had heard of a secret cave that contained magical lava that would always replace itself even after she finished it.

During the break of the soccer game, Victoria realized that she was fast enough to fly to the island and return in time to finish the game. She made herself invisible so no one would notice she was gone, and took off flying toward the island. She landed on a sandy beach and saw a big shark lying on the sand.

The shark had a deal for her. If she helped him get back in the water, the shark would grant her three wishes! She agreed, and began to help him.

Victoria searched the beach and found some rope. She flew back to the shark and tied the rope around his tail and then took flight again and began to pull him into the ocean. She used her powers to freeze the shark and the water so that she wouldn’t get wet. Once the shark was in the right position, she unfroze the shark and the water.

The shark was so happy to be back in the water. He was now ready to grant her wishes.

“What are your three wishes?” The shark asked her.

Victoria thought to herself, “What do I want most?”

She knew she wanted to win that soccer game so she wished for a copy of herself that she could send to finish playing the game while she continued to explore the island. He granted her wish.

“I wish for you to give me the power to transform into a human!” she said to the shark. The shark took only a moment to give her this new power. As her alien self she was still allergic to water, but if she transformed into a human water would no longer harm her.

“My last wish is for lava to make my powers even stronger!” The shark swished his tail, and granted her third wish.

“Thank you, Shark!”

Having her three wishes granted, Victoria flew off to find the cave of magic lava. When she got there, she saw a sleeping dragon protecting the lava. He was lying right in front of the lava – there was no way to get to it!

Victoria used her shrinking powers to make the dragon as small as a rabbit. Then she made herself invisible and flew over the now tiny dragon and grabbed the cauldron of lava.

She had done it! Victoria had got the magic lava!

She flew off, rushing to make the soccer game, but as she was crossing the ocean, the cauldron slipped from her fingers and fell into the ocean, where it sunk into its watery depths…

 

“Valkry and the Haunted House of Secrets” by Ms Beretta’s Grade 4 Class

Artwork by Chris Green

Our Character:

  • Is a 50 year old zombie named Valkry
  • He goes undercover as a boy named Ollo
  • He bullies people and is really annoying because he talks too much and says whatever comes to his mind
  • He has many superpowers: invisibility, teleportation, telepathy, x-ray vision, super speed (can run 1000 miles per hour), super strength, and can shoot lasers from his eyes
  • He has a big, annoying german shepherd
  • He is also a taekwondo master
  • He doesn’t like to learn anything
  • He likes to save people
  • His family lives in another country
  • He lives in a country called Cansada
  • He has friends but doesn’t like playing with them
  • He wears a black ninja suit, has 2 inch long nails, is 4 feet tall, and has long black hair and blue eyes
  • He has a team
  • He is afraid of spiders

Our Setting:

  • Takes place on Halloween 1000 years in the future in a place called Tombstown
  • It’s snowing and kind of cold outside
  • It’s nighttime
  • There are 3 foot tall trees with lots of leaves on them, but at night they grow into big trees
  • There are big trees that turn into werewolves at night, and you can hear them howling!
  • There is a big green snake and a little baby yellow snake slithering through these trees
  • Otherworldly creatures live there: human sized robots, laughing witches, and one zombie
  • There is a super tall haunted house that no one has ever lived in, but there might be a vampire inside and a scream can be heard coming from the house
  • There are really cool electric cars flying around everywhere
  • There is a stormy wind blowing
  • There’s a castle down a pathway, and it’s a really safe place that you can go to if you’re scared
  • In Tombstown, there is a time travelling hat that is purple and covered in super cool buttons

Valkry and the Haunted House of Secrets

Once upon a time, there was a zombie named Valkry. A scientist gave him a costume so he could disguise himself as a little boy so that no one would get scared of him and kill him. He also had trouble making friends since he was a zombie, which was another reason why he disguised himself as a boy. He wore the costume to turn into a normal boy, but on Halloween night, he was able to go out without a disguise.

Valkry lived in an invisible house in a graveyard in Tombstown, Cansada. Tombstown had a big problem – it was always nighttime except on January 1st. It had been night time for 1,000 years!

There was a vampire that lived in a haunted house in Tombstown. In the house there was also a baby. They had a secret cellar under the house that controlled the Earth’s rotation so that it was always night time! The vampire was also making a potion to make all the people in the world evil.

In the cellar, there was a magical purple witch’s hat with buttons that could fly you up to 4,000 years into the past.

Valkry was walking through the werewolf trees when he saw two paths. One led to the haunted house and one led to a magical safe castle.

Valkry went to the haunted house because he wanted to get the special hat so that he could go back in time to prevent Tombstown from being plunged into eternal nighttime. When he went into the house, he found another zombie named Valentina, who he could be friends with.

The vampire was guarding the time-travelling hat so that Valkry could not reverse his night time curse. Valkry knew the vampire well, because they used to be best friends, before the vampire turned evil.

Valkry opened the door to the cellar and saw a machine that controlled the earth’s rotation! Then he heard a creepy voice behind him say, “Stop right there!”

Then…

 

 

“The Four Heroes in Haunted City” by Ms Cohan’s Grade 4 Class

Artwork by Josh Rosen

Our Character:

  • Sally The Night Cat, a girl werecat
  • She has black cat ears, the head and tail of cat with a human body
  • She’s funny and loves making jokes
  • She’s nocturnal (sleeps during the day and is awake at night!)
  • Has butterfly wings and can fly
  • Long straight blonde hair
  • She carries a bow and arrow
  • She has a device that can make people big or small
  • She is very scared all the time
  • She runs away from big monsters when she sees them
  • Loves the monkey bars
  • She is hungry and wants to find food in Haunted City

Our Setting:

  • Is a little bit spooky but not too spooky
  • Outdoors at nighttime, and is pretty dark
  • There are owls with big eyes on little buildings
  • There are witches here, and they make really stinky potions
  • Around the buildings are trees with red bark and mostly fallen-off leaves
  • There are leaves are on the ground
  • There is a ghost train with ghosts inside it
  • When you pull the horn on the train it makes a spooky train sound like this: “AHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
  • There are about 20 funny little geese walking around outside and inside the buildings
  • There are shadows that have the voices of kids
  • It smells like pie outside
  • There is an empty building
  • There is also the smell of horrible breath outside (like someone who hasn’t brushed their teeth in years)
  • Along the building are pipes dripping water
  • There’s a fang on the ground
  • There are written messages on the walls

The Four Heroes in Haunted City

Once there was a girl named Sally, who lived in Haunted City. She used to live with her parents until they both had heart attacks and died while at the train station. They were at the train station because a big red tree had fallen and crushed their family home.

Sally was a normal girl, but a few days after her parents died, something turned her into a werecat.

She was now Sally the Night Cat! She had butterfly wings to fly with and could turn into a real cat, but didn’t realize she had these powers.

There were monsters and witches in Haunted City, and Sally wanted to save the day. But there was a problem, she was too scared to face them! She wanted to learn about them at Monster School, but she was made fun of for wanting to go.

There was also a boy named Bloodly Boy who had also lost his parents in a tragic accident at the train station. He wanted to fight monsters too, but he was also scared of them!

Bloodly Boy and Sally the Night Cat went outside to take a walk by the pond, where the frogs and jellyfish lived, to make themselves feel better.

They ran into a tiger named Anthony, who lived in the jungle. He had been forced into the city from his home. Anthony was with a good vampire, named Mary, who had lost her fang.

The four of them teamed up and went to the library to look for books on how to defeat monsters. In the library, they encountered a book monster that could disguise itself as a book. There was also a special book that could give them special powers that could turn them into dragons.

The next book they found told Sally all about her Night Cat powers and how to use them. She was starting to feel less afraid of monsters, but the book monster suddenly appeared and stole the book…

 

“Dusty Donna & Jojo Potato’s Crazy Journey” by Ms Kelly’s Grade 4 Class


Artwork by Josh Rosen

Our Characters:
Dusty Donna

  • The main character is a jazz singer named Dusty Donna
  • She doesn’t like to clean up and is covered in dust
  • She was expelled from school for being too dirty
  • She has long black hair and is always wearing rags
  • She’s 17 years old
  • She spins around and covers her audiences in dirt, so they throw old fruit at her

Jojo Potato

  • He wears a mouse shirt and has potato chip hair that grows back after he eats it
  • He loves Donna and yells “Potato” at the stage when she is singing
  • Can regrow himself in the earth if he is hurt

Soda man

  • one side blue, one side white

Our Setting:

  • A really big boat in the middle of the ocean being grabbed by an octopus monster
  • There is a desert with monsters in it that smell like rotten eggs and are ugly and mean
  • The monsters are protecting gold treasure by the volcano
  • The smoky volcano is overflowing with lava, and inside it is the chief monster who leads the Monster Army and guards the gold treasure
  • Near the volcano are deceptively stinky blue and gold flowers with flames and spikes that HEAL PEOPLE!
  • The monster army is coming together to ATTACK!

Dusty Donna & Jojo Potato’s Crazy Journey

One day Dusty Donna was invited to sing on a fancy yacht. When she started singing, the audience realized why she was called ‘Dusty’ Donna. She spun around, covering them in dirt! The audience got mad and threw rotten fruit at her. She was on this ship because she had been expelled from school, after 17 years without a bath!

Jojo Potato, Dusty Donna’s friend, was hiding backstage with all his magical potato friends. Jojo Potato was wearing his favorite shirt with a mouse on it. He had potato chip hair that he snacked on sometimes, but it always grew back!

As Dusty Donna was singing, a giant octopus attacked the ship because it came too close to its octopus babies. Jojo Potato fed the octopus his most delicious potato chip which made the octopus dance with joy. It danced so hard that it poked some holes in the ship with the spikes in its tentacles. The yacht started to sink!

Jojo Potato wanted to get everyone to safety, so along with his friends, he created a potato boat to get everyone to the desert island.

Dusty Donna and Jojo Potato arrived at the island and saw a giant volcano with lava coming out! They also noticed big, ugly, mean monsters that smelled like rotten eggs. It looked like the monsters were protecting something next to the volcano.

Dusty Donna figured out that they were protecting treasure that she thought would make her clean. She had been dirty for so long that even a normal shower would not do the job! Her dream was to sing her beautiful jazz music without the audience throwing fruit at her. She headed toward the volcano to get the treasure.

Meanwhile, Soda Man, who lived underneath the volcano, threw two cans of soda into the mouth of the volcano. This caused it to erupt in a giant wave of soda! Inside of the volcano lived unicorns, mermaids, and a lochness monster. A giant explosion of soda carried them all out of the volcano, and they began fighting the monsters guarding the treasure!

Dusty Donna and Jojo Potato were also trying to get the treasure, but they were caught between all the magical creatures and the giant monsters…

 

“Maurice’s Defeat Day” by Ms Wasserman’s Grade 2 Class


Artwork by Chris Green

Our Character:

  • Is a fairy princess named Maurice Bloomiz
  • She is a member of the royal fairy family, and they all have wings – one is a butterfly wing and one is a bat wing
  • She is 9 years old
  • She is skinny and flat and only 3 inches tall
  • She is a treasure hunter, likes to makes art about kindness and respecting people, and is silly
  • She wears a crown, glass shoes, and a pink dress that has three pink stars on it
  • She also has a dress that is gold with flowers on it for special occasions
  • She lives in a pink castle
  • She has straight yellow and pink hair that is past her shoulders, and sharp nails
  • She also has a nice house that is beside a lake
  • Maurice has a wand with magical powers – she can point to things and change them into whatever she wants
  • She wears black eyeliner, likes makeup and basketball, and is good at math
  • She has a friend who is also a fairy princess and is 6 years old, and they have flying races with each other
  • Her dad is a prince who wears a handsome vest, and his name is Shining Armour
  • She has two younger siblings: a baby brother named Jean who is very strong and can lift big fat rocks, and a baby sister who likes to steal her eyeliner and does a bad job of putting it on
  • Her mom is the queen fairy, Cadenza, who has blue hair and is pregnant with twins

Our Setting:

  • A beautiful place where there are books in trees
  • There are little ants who live there as well
  • There is a storage cupboard where there are tools and ladders
  • There are clouds high up in the sky where you need ladders to climb up to them
  • There is an underground house that has a kitchen and washroom
  • There are sharks who have books in their tummy
  • There is also a tree house where you can play board games and play with other people
  • Near the tree house there are two gardens with fruits and vegetables
  • The books have hands, legs, and wings and can fly
  • In  the tree house there is a little bird’s nest with an orange mom bird

Maurice’s Defeat Day

The royal fairies, Maurice, her baby sister, baby brother, and their parents, the prince and the queen, wanted to protect their magical books from the giant sharks who were trying to eat them all.

This was happening in the fairy world called Castle. In this place there was a bookstore called Work Shop. The queen’s name was Cadenza and the prince was called Shining Armour.

While the fairies were fighting the sharks, a volcano exploded and the whole planet started turning into lava and a lava dragon flew out of the volcano. The dinosaurs were defeated by the lava. Maurice began to feel worried because she feared her family might be destroyed by the sharks and the dragon. Maurice’s family began to feel angry and sad because they wanted to protect the magical books.

Then, it started to rain, so the sharks were able to swim on land! The sharks were swimming so fast, they made a huge wave so that they could charge right at the fairies! The mom and dad fairy flew to the lava dragon to battle him, while Maurice and her baby brother and sister tried to use the sharks to defeat the lava…