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The lost alphabet
The bookworm club is just about to meet in their cozy reading corner for their daily afternoon tea. But oh, no – something seems wrong? Q Pootle is missing! What has happened?
The big, heavy wooden clock strikes five. The fat cat is purring contently on the living room couch and the small reading corner next to the large chest of drawers where the little boy Luke lives is slowly coming to life. Every afternoon, the bookworm club of Matilda, Coconut, Oscar, Stella and Yakari meet on the big animal encyclopedia to drink tea together.
“Hey, yoo-hoo! I have got delicious chocolate cookies!” says Coconut and opens the small bag he was carrying. “And I found some very fresh tea herbs outside in the garden,” says Yakari, proudly revealing and emptying his leather bag. “I’ll make some tea for us and hand out the cookies,” offered Stella. The friends sit together on small cushions, stools and also on the spine of the encyclopedia. “I went to school today! Luke secretly put me in his backpack. Now I can add 2+5 and I know how to say “blue” in Spanish,” Matilda announces enthusiastically. “And how do you say it?” asks Oscar curiously. “AZUL!” says Matilda. The friends are thrilled. They laugh, snack and talk.
“Stop!” Stella shouts all of a sudden. Everyone freezes. “Where’s Q Pootle? Has anyone seen him?” Yakari scratches his head. Matilda and Oscar look for him, but there is no sight of Q Pootle anywhere. The friends drop everything and scan the entire reading corner. They call his name and lift books, toys, blankets. But Q Pootle is nowhere to be found.
Incredible! The heaviest book in the world weighs almost 660 pounds. Can you imagine how heavy that is? That’s as much as 10 children weigh together!
Gathering all his strength, Coconut is able to open a small wooden box. And inside he finds Q Pootle, sitting next to his little U.F.O. and his book. Coconut tries to talk to little Q Pootle, but he does not answer and looks terribly sad. “Hey, Q Pootle. Don’t you want to have tea with us? We also have chocolate cookies.” Q Pootle suddenly begins crying bitterly and points to his book without being able to speak a word. “I found Q Pootle,” Coconut calls to the others.
Matilda, Oscar, Stella and Yakari rush over to them. Q Pootle slowly opens his book. “Oh, no! No!!” the bookworm club shouts in chorus. Q Pootle’s book was empty. The pages were all blank and as white as snow. Not a single letter in the whole book. “Q Pootle has lost his letters,” exclaims Stella. The book friends are scared and upset. “But how is this possible?” Stella asks as she looks into the helpless faces of her friends. “Today is the day of friendship. When the moon is full in the sky and the day of friendship begins, best friends are put to the test and get a task that is difficult to solve. But if you master it, the bond of friendship will last forever,” Yakari explains. The bookworm club looks at each other. “What are we waiting for? We’ll start searching. The lost letters are our duty of friendship. We can do it,” says Oscar. “Matilda and I will search the children’s bedrooms. Coconut and Stella, try to find some letters in the kitchen and bathroom. And you, Yakari, go out into the garden and take a look in the shed. Here we go. Let’s start. Oh and you, Q Pootle. Wait for us here! Take good care of your book, we’ll be right back.” The friends slip out of the wooden box and scatter in all directions.
With all their strength, Matilda and Oscar climb up the large wooden staircase and scurry secretly into the children’s room. Coconut grabs Stella and off they go, over to the kitchen, while Yakari gallops as fast as he can through the small cat flap out to the garden. “How do you find a letter exactly?” asks Oscar and lifts up a few bricks. “To be honest, I don’t know,” admits Matilda and searches by the window sill. “Maybe we can just call them.” The two of them shrug their shoulders and then tune in together. “A. A A A A AAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Come back, you As!” Then they listen, very quietly, when all of the sudden they hear a soft pitter-patter. Suddenly, lots of small As start to pop out from under a big fire truck. “It’s working!” Oscar says happily. “Quick, let’s grab that little glove over here and let the As just run inside.” Oscar holds up a striped glove and all the As hop happily inside.
“Let’s have a look in the closet.” Matilda moves forward courageously. And that’s how they find the Bs. The Cs are under Luke’s pillow. The D’s are hidden in the pencil case and the Es are behind a big ball. They also find the Fs, Gs, Hs, Is, Js, Ks, Ls and Ms. “The glove is full of letters. Can we use your skateboard to roll it downstairs? That’s the fastest way,” asks Oscar. “Of course, that’s a great idea”, Matilda calls out and the two of them roll down the stairs with a lot of momentum. “YAAAAAY, Q Pootle, here we come!” When they arrive at the bottom, they drag the full glove behind them like a heavy gift bag. Let’s go to the reading corner! Together, and with all their strength, they lift the glove into Q Pootle’s wooden box, open the glove and let all the letters they found topple out. The letters squeak, dance and jump around. And then, one by one, they hop back into Q Pootle’s empty book.
There is suddenly a lot of noise outside the wooden box. It’s Yakari with his lasso throwing the Ns, Os, Ps, Qs, and Rs into the wooden box. With one big whoosh, the letters jump back to the right place in Q Pootle’s book, and the first words slowly begin to appear. “Now only Coconut and Stella are still missing,” says Oscar, calmly to little Q Pootle. Just then Coconut flies into the wooden box, Stella under his arm with a small jam jar full of letters. Together, all the friends open the jam jar’s lid and the letters fly out and land in Q Pootle’s book thus completing the story. As soon as the last Z has found its place, Q Pootle lets out a cheerful cry of joy: “FINALLY! My story, my voice, my very best friends!”
The six of them fall into each other’s arms. “Tell us, Q Pootle, how did this happen?” asks Stella while giving him a big hug. “I don’t know for sure, but I was sitting here in my wooden box and suddenly everything started shaking and all the letters fell out of my story. I wanted to hold them tight and catch them, but they were so scared and fast that I couldn’t stop them. Besides, my voice was suddenly gone. Thank you for bringing the letters back,” says Q Pootle, very relieved. “No letters, no stories. And no stories means no book heroes. The letters give us a voice and I am glad that we were able to save Q Pootle’s story! And now, how about some tea and cookies?” asks Yakari. “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” the bookworm club cheers. Together, they climb out of the small wooden box and, like every afternoon, they make themselves comfortable between books, small cushions and small stools. Because they were the bookworm club. The very best friends. Forever.
Our alphabet saviors
My boys (4 and 6 years old) have never been so happy about Mommy’s work as they were this time – with Q Pootle and Yakari, everyone had their own favourite character. Now Q Pootle and Yakari live in the house of bricks, drive in fire trucks during the day and eat waffles with my boys. They have even visited the nursery and school.
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