The story of the donut pirate

What happens when the Boyd girls start collaborating on an illustrated story? Magic — and some product-placement marketing for a local donut shop.

The method

Three cheers for Peggy Kaye and her excellent book Games for Writing which inspired the day’s writing games. Rosie and I started off by making a “story map,” designed and lettered exclusively by Rosie. Then Lucy and I launched a story based on that map, each writing alternate sentences. Mama got the ball rolling, but the story belongs to the Boyd girls.

The map

First, Rosie drew her map:

The Donut Pirate's Map

You’ll notice these locations indicated on the map, counterclockwise from upper left:

  • My House!
  • Church
  • Lake — and don’t miss the pirate (albeit unlabeled)
  • Road
  • Playground
  • Zoo
  • Oasis
  • Spunky Dunkers

What Rosie didn’t label, but which is a key cartographic feature, are the lines wavering all over the map. That’s not just scribbling, or childish embellishment. Those represent the “smell of donuts,” according to our young cartographer, emanating from the Spunky Dunkers donut shop. (And yes, Spunky Dunkers is a real donut shop, our overall favorite in the Chicago area, although it’s a 45-minute drive from our house.)

Then Lucy and Ann tag-teamed to write the following story. We’ve transcribed and standardized spelling and punctuation here, but for the quirky original, you can consult the manuscript itself at the end.

I don’t know about you, but this is my kind of literary fun!

The Donut Pirate

Once upon a time there lived a pirate, and he had a special map. “I’m looking for treasure,” he said. “Treasure that I can eat! I know that there is a donut shop around here. I wonder if I can swim there for a donut? And I will go there at night and will steal a donut!”

So the pirate put on his swimsuit and waited until the dead of night. Then he jumped into the water and swam to the donut shop.

When he arrived he was surprised to see all the lights on at Spunky Dunkers. He walked in and… “Boo!” The donut man jumped out right at him!

“May I help you?” asked the donut man. “Um, yes!” And the pirate jumped at the donuts and grabbed one and ran out the door!

Just then, a friendly man named Jon Boyd walked through the door. “Wow, he was in quite a rush!” said Jon.

“Well, um,” said the donut man. “That man just stole some of our donuts!”

“That wasn’t very nice,” said Jon.

“He must have been pretty hungry. I’ll pay for his donuts, and I’d like a dozen more for my little girls at home.”

“Thanks,” said the donut man.

“What flavors do your little girls like?” asked the donut man.

“We’ll need at least three chocolate drops,” said Jon, “and a few custard ones. And let’s try that new flavor that you have called ice-cream drop.”

“That will be $25,” said the donut man.

“OK,” said Jon.

The End

The Manuscript

The Donut Pirate, page 1

The Donut Pirate, page 2

The Donut Pirate, page 3

The Donut Pirate, page 4

The Donut Pirate, page 5

4 Thoughts on “The story of the donut pirate

  1. young c on October 14, 2013 at 12:55 am said:

    So so cute! Aiden did a camp this summer where they drew a story map – this inspires me to do more with him in the future. :)

    • What a great idea for the camp! The girls have made a few other story maps, and I’ve heard of people making little paper figurines to go along with them. Beats the heck out of Candy Land!

  2. Bob Hunt on October 14, 2013 at 10:45 am said:

    Great fun, Ann. Maybe we can create an AP question plumbing the deep significance of the story’s theme and how the style of the writer amplified said theme:)

    • Sounds fantastic, Mr. Hunt! The best part is that we could take a field trip to Spunky Dunkers in order to research the pirate’s deepest motives. :)

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