Way back last November, I had the idea to write a story based on the words “Operation Easter Island”. Some brainstorms, a long break and more edits later, here is a somewhat stable draft of the story and some concept sketches (the numbers represent double-page spreads, like what you see when the book is open):
Operation Easter Island
Matt calls Steve. “We’re going to Easter Island!”
Steve smiles: “That boat looks great. Let’s go!”
But Matt shakes his head. “We can’t leave yet. We need a map.”
Matt finds paper, Steve finds crayons. They even look at Steve’s globe to find out where Easter Island is: very far away!
“The boat looks great and so does the map. Now we can go to Easter Island!”
But Matt looks at his T-Shirt. “We can’t possibly go without the right clothes!”
Steve gets sunglasses and his cowboy hat. Matt collects rain jackets, scarves, hats, gloves and winter boots.
“But I thought Easter Island is warm” Steve says
“You never know that. We’ll be prepared for anything.”
Steve looks around. “The boat looks great, so does the map, so do the clothes. Can we go to Easter Island, now?”
“Why of course not! We don’t have our travel snacks!”
They walk into the kitchen and get grapes and nuts. Mom even lets them have some cookies. “Have a safe trip!”
Steve yawns: “The boat looks great, so does the map, so do the clothes, so does the food. Surely we can go now!”
But Matt shakes his head. “We can’t go, yet. What about insurance?”
“Something important. Dad says you cannot go anywhere without it.”
Steve rolls his eyes. He finds their narwhal toy. “There, Reginald can be our insurance. I never go anywhere without him.”
Steve moans: “The boat looks great, so does the map, so do the clothes, so does the food, and we have Reginald insurance. We can go now!”
But Matt still complains: “We are missing so many things: We need our bedtime stories, and what about grandma’s rocking chair? And how will we wash our clothes without a washing machine? We can’t go without those! And, and…”
“THAT’S IT!” Steve yells. “I’m not going!”
“What? I’m just getting us ready. We’ll be on our way, soon!”
“Soon? It’ll take us a million ton years to get to Easter Island! I’m out!”
Slam! [Steve slams door behind him]
Matt rolls his eyes. “A ‘million ton years’ is not even a word.”
Matt looks at the boat alone. “I was just trying to get us ready… I’ll just go by myself, then.”
He tries to step on board, but he trips over all the clothes.
“Oh, man, there’s no room to walk here!” Matt shoves the clothes aside.
He tries to steer the boat. But he knocks all the lunch boxes down by mistake.
“Oh, man, there’s no room to steer!” He shoves some lunch boxes aside.
But no matter how much Matt shoves his stuff around, there is just no room!
“Why don’t you just leave some stuff behind?”
“What?” Matt turns around. “Steve, you came back!”
Steve looks at the boat. “There’s no room to go anywhere if the boat is full. Leave the clothes and the extra food behind.”
“But what if we need something on the way? We need to be ready!”
Steve smiles. “Then we’ll either find it on the way or have it when we get back. Trust me, we have everything we need.”
Matt looks at the boat yet again. He shakes his head, but then he nods. “You know, you’re right. I can’t eat so many cookies and grapes, anyway.”
They throw out the extra shirts, scarves, jackets, boots, and hats. They throw out the extra cookie bags and lunch boxes. “Hey, look, there’s enough room, now!” Matt says.
Steve whispers: “Can we go to Easter Island, now?”
Matt smiles: “Yes, let’s go!”
(Illustration: Steve and Matt sail to Easter Island, see the Moai sculptures and some animals.)
“What an adventure!” Matt says.
Steve pats him on the back “Exactly!”