*clang clang clang!*
Tobias remembered feeling such amazing excitement and joy when the school bell finally rang yesterday. He thought it was the best feeling in the world when the holidays arrived.
Today, however, he’d been on holiday for almost a whole day and things didn’t feel quite the same.
He’d slept in.
He’d watched TV.
He’d eaten lunch.
He’d kicked the ball in the backyard.
…but now what?
[what do you think Tobias should do? – interactive pop-up with space to write in answer]
As Tobias heard your suggestion all he could say was “but it’s booorrriinggg!”
His mum suggested going for a walk to the park or playing a board game but guess what he said?
“Mum, that’s boorrrriinggg!!”
The problem with this was the more Tobias said how bored he was, the more bored he became!
“but I’m soooooo boreeeeddd!”
And the more he said he was bored the more life and fun and energy drained out of his world. His house even sounded boring! He began to feel sad and lost all his energy. He wondered if he’d ever have fun again. As he looked out the window he was shocked to find things looked quite different than he remembered.
But his mother didn’t seem to notice and kept making cookies….and then he realized … He couldn’t smell them! Tobias loved cookies but he didn’t want any because he couldn’t smell them!
Something was very strange here. The colour had gone, the smells had gone…and wait….
The sounds had gone too! He couldn’t hear kids playing in the neighborhood, he couldn’t hear the birds in the trees.
He turned on the radio…
Just when he was about to despair he heard a quiet little voice saying “over here! Follow me!”
“who said that?” said Tobias.
And sure enough, as he looked down,Tobias saw a tiny little ant on the kitchen floor madly waving his arms in the air.
“but where are you going?” Tobias asked without any real interest in the answer.
“you’ll have to find out!” the ant mysteriously replied. And with that, he scuttled across the tiles and under the back door.
[have a look around your kitchen and out your back door. Are there any ants trying to get your attention? You may like to get a magnifying glass do you can see what the ants are trying to say!]
Tobias followed his secretive new friend out the back door and along the side of the house. But suddenly the ant stopped and turned around and said,
“if you follow me too far you might get lost in my world. Draw yourself a map so you know how to find your way home from the ant city!”
[get some paper and some markers and create a map of your ant’s journey – you could use dotted lines or small footsteps to show the path he takes.]
He got down on his hands and knees and followed the ant with a magnifying glass as he scuttled into the blades of grass. As The ant crawled over and around stones and pebbles, grass and sticks, Tobias noticed that many other ants were heading the same way and his ant friend joined a long trail of ants who all knew where they were going. It was like an ant freeway as they whizzed along one after another busy and enthusiastic to get home.
Eventually Tobias’s ant friend crawled up to a crack in the concrete next to the house and paused.
“this is where i live – the ant city. Are you coming?”
Tobias looked confused but his curiosity was too much and he couldn’t help but ask…
“how can I get to your city? The crack is too small and I’m far too big!”
The ant wrinkled his brow as if trying to remember something from long ago.
“there’s an old story”, said the ant, “about a drink with special powers. But it’s very hard to find.”
“tell me please!” Tobias said, “I want to know! I know I can find it! I know i can!”
The ant didn’t look like he believed Tobias But he continued the story until he knew what he must do. With a new sense of purpose he shouted goodbye and ran back inside. And all the while didn’t have time to notice that the world was gradually changing.
Tobias searched frantically through his house for a boat but there wasn’t one. He had to cross the dangerous pirated waters of Loungorium but how would he do it?
[can you find these things at home? Make a boat using these things so that Tobias can sail across the dreaded waters of Loungorium to find the magic shrink drink]
Tobias stood on the bow of the ship and looked across the waters. All had been quiet until now but gradually it was getting louder and louder and he was getting worried.
The waves began to rise and they lapped at the boat as the wind scwalled.
“… Take down the sail!” Tobias cried to his first mate, “we’re going to capsize!”
…but there was no answer.
“take down the sail!” he cried again, looking at you with desperate eyes. (oh, did I forget to mention you’re Tobias’s first mate?”). [quick! Take down the sails!!]
But the sails were stuck and you needed a hand. So you yelled for another sailor to help. [call out to another sailor to help you so you don’t capsize!]
Finally with all hands on deck, the sails were down and the boat was buffeted by the wind and waves, rocking and rolling and bobbing in the sea. The sailors grabbed a blanket and all huddled together for warmth as the wind blew.
And as quickly as it came up, the wind died away, the sun came out and the boat stopped rocking. It was time to raise the sail – full steam ahead!
Tobias thought he could see land but he wasn’t sure. He needed a telescope but he didn’t bring one with him. Maybe you can help? [find a lifeboat and go and hunt for a telescope. Look for: an empty paper towel roll, some cellophane, some sticky tape, some aluminium foil.]
“land ahoy!” you shouted back on board the boat. It was small but you could see the island and Tobias was relieved and overjoyed.
As the boat came into the shallows you dropped the anchor and all jumped in the lifeboat, rowing to dry land. You dragged the boat up the beach and sat on the sand, exhausted.
It was then that Tobias asked, “…but where do we go next?”
There was a rustle in your pocket and Tobias’s little ant friend scuttled out and waved his arms again.
“your map! Your map!” he exclaimed with excitement.
[find your map of the ant trail]
Re-drafting will be necessary to reduce overall length of story as a couple more chapters are still necessary so it would be quite long. Multiple paragraphs of text per page will be necessary as there will be too much happening to illustrate or animate every few sentences.