Happy Birthday Bill Peet - January 29
(January 29, 1915 - May 11, 2002)
"When my two sons, Bill and Steve, were very small I would make up bedtime stories for them almost every night. With so much storytelling practice I began to contribute more to the Disney stories, but always with illustrations. I couldn't possibly give up drawing. Finally I became Walt's top writer-illustrator on his animated features." (billpeet.net).
I was nervous to tell an original story. So, I reached out to fellow participants in the 12 x 12 writing challenge to ask if they would share their experiences telling original stories to their children. I received many helpful suggestions:
1. Encourage your children to contribute to the story. (Thanks Jodi!)
2. Have a reoccurring set of characters. (Thanks Denver!)
3. Start your story with "When you were little..." (Thanks Julie!)
4. Use picture book illustrations as a guide for your story telling. (Thanks Stacy!)
5. Take turns with your children telling parts of the story. (Thanks Mindy!)
I had thought of a main character and a problem for my story -- a bear who couldn't fall asleep for the winter -- but that is all I had! So I decided to try the suggestion of having my children contribute to the story. I began the story by describing the setting (it was snowing) and the main character (a bear who tried many ways to fall asleep but couldn't). My daughter introduced a bird who wanted to show the bear how much fun it was to play in the snow. The bear and the bird went sledding, skiing, and ice skating. My son said, "They need to build a snow fort!" This provided a great way to end the story with the bear falling asleep in the fort after a fun but exhausting day playing in the snow. This story will certainly not become an animated classic film for Disney or a storybook loved by thousands of children, but it certainly was fun -- and I would try it again!
Disney). After his time at Disney, he published over 30 storybooks including popular titles like The Whingdingdilly and Big Bad Bruce. He also was awarded a Caldecott Honor in 1990 for his autobiography, Bill Peet: An Autobiography.
I wanted to celebrate Bill Peet's birthday with his books and a movie. My children absolutely love watching a movie with the lights off, a blanket on the floor with pillows, and POPCORN! I knew the perfect movie to watch would be The Sword in the Stone -- a movie they had never seen before. Bill Peet was "the only storyman in the history of Disney who did all the storyboards for an entire animated feature film, and he did it for two of them: The Sword in the Stone and 101 Dalmations." (billpeet.net).
The reason the Flubduds all sigh in despair--
They stand on their feet and can't go anywhere.
Since they're much too befuddled to figure things out,
They're stuck in one spot and can't move about.
|After tracing the sleeve they cut out the shape.|
|Then, carefully glued it on the sleeve. This gave us a blank slate for creating a Bill Peet commemorative cup.|
|My daughter chose to write "Happy Birthday Bill Peet" and my son chose to write his name on one side.|
|On the other side, they drew their favorite creature from No Such Things. My daughter chose a Flumper which resembles a car tire and my son chose a Snoof which has backward feet and therefore cannot be tracked by hunters in the snow.|
|Here are the official Bill Peet Birthday Movie Night Commemorative Cups. I made a cup for my youngest son which featured a Sneezaboo, a bighorn sheep whose horns wrap around as skis. This creature is also featured in Buford the Big Horn Sheep.|
|The next activity was to design homemade popcorn containers. I gave them the freedom to decorate the containers however they desired. My son stayed with the theme by adding a few more creatures. My daughter drew designs around the word POPCORN.|
|To make the container we folded a large piece of construction paper in half.|
|Then we folded each half into the center to make four equal panels.|
|For each panel we cut along each crease about 3 inches up.|
|I then folded the panels together and taped on the bottom.|
|Once all the bottoms were folded, I had two panels that met together. I added tape here to complete our popcorn container.|
|This was just an example. Remember to have your children decorate their container before you tape it together.|
1. Home Page for Bill Peet - Packed full of information.
2. IMDb Page for Bill Peet
3. In Memoriam - Flak Magazine, NY Times
4. Biography - About.com
5. Children's Book-A-Day Almanac - January 29
6. Bill Peet Biography - Disney