How to Use My Adventure Books

What makes a story great? What kind of story comes alive in your mind and makes you feel like you are right there where the action is? If you're like me, it's a story that combines vivid real-life details with the vast universe of the imagination. Advanced My Adventure books invite you to use your knowledge of the real world and your lively creativity to make your own story, rich with detail and illustrated as only you can do.

Ready for the creative adventure?

First, choose one of the Advanced My Adventure stories. You can order them from the Orchard Academy Division of Windstorm Creative Publishers. Then get busy creating. Most people like to read through the story first to get an idea of the beginning, the middle and the end. All those blank spaces will probably set off questions in your head. Remember, you are creating your own fictional story, so you can decide what goes in those blank spaces. Your choices won't be right or wrong. They will be YOURS!

Most writers and illustrators do some research as they create so that their details will be vivid and true-to-life. Find a place to observe real live creatures and draw what you see. Your own backyard, a neighborhood park or your favorite zoo might give you opportunities to study the details that will bring your work to life. Lots of books are available to help you find interesting details about the animals that you might want to include. Each Advanced My Adventure book includes a list of references that you might find helpful. Consult your favorite field guide, or use some of the links listed below book to inspire your illustrations.

Remember: Writers repeatedly revise and rewrite. Use a pencil to fill in your blanks so that you can make changes if you get a better idea. Your book will grow rich with your ideas as you add more detail--extra words and phrases, pictures, insets, borders--whatever seems right to you.

When you have finished your story, share it! Read it to somebody who loves a great story.

Here are some links that might help you. If you have problems with these, or if you find some that others might find helpful, please email us.

Research Links for My Adventure as a Birder

www.birds.cornell.edu/allaboutbirds/BirdGuide Type in the name of the bird you want to know about, and you'll get a picture and lots of other cool stuff.
wwww.stokesbirdsathome.com Some really good bird identification tips will help you make your drawings realistic.
www.dnr.statemd.us/wildlife/animalbits Maryland birds.
www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/duckdist/index Water fowl.

Research Links for My Adventure at Summer Camp

www.smallboat.sailingcourse.com Some knots, with videos that show how to tie them.

Research Links for My Adventure on the Lake

www.smallboat.sailingcourse.com Learn some sailing lingo and what to do if a boat capsizes.
www.dragonflies.org/catalog.htm Some inspirations for your dragonfly sequence.

Research Links for My Adventure with Arthropods

http://www.nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/PhotoGallery/Invertebrates Awesome arthropods at the National Zoo.

Research Links for My Adventure with Reptiles

www.amazillia.net Cool pictures of reptiles around the world.
www.dnr.state.me.us.wildlife Pictures of Maryland snakes and turtles.
http://amnh.org/exhibitions/dinosaurs/trackways/whowasthat.php Interesting stuff about dinosaur footprints.
http://drawsketch.about.com/library/bl-step-turtle> How to draw baby sea turtles!