Eleanor already knew about first drafts, so she got paper for the draft and a stack of paper for the real book.
The title came quickly: Twenty-six Kittens. The rest took more effort, especially the names of the twenty-six kittens. “Writing a book is hard,” Eleanor realized. But she stuck with it.
We completed the draft. I wrote the text on the pages, and Eleanor illustrated. I stitched the book together with needle and thread, and Eleanor composed the About the Author page and the enticing description for the back cover.
Here is our masterpiece!
We’ll start with the back cover because, really, isn’t that where we all start?
Eleanor’s text says, “What happens when 26 kittens meet a shark in Maui? Join [us] to find out!”
And now you can’t put the story down, can you? Twenty-six kittens and a shark? In Maui? You’d be disappointed if I left you hanging, wouldn’t you?
Well, I won’t.
One day in Alabama, there was a man who had twenty-six kittens. Well, it was a Big Deal.
All the kittens looked exactly the same, but they had different names. One was Raven, another was Rainbow. The others were Jen, Eleanor, Ray, Skye, Rebecca, Rosie, Hummingbird, Ginger, Denali, Max, P.J., Savannah, Snowflake, Snow, Brownie, Silver, Gold, Greenland, Girdwood, Copper, Kipper, Salmon, Chocolate, and Blueberry.
One day, the owner went on vacation to Maui. The kitten sitter was going to pick them up at their house in an hour, but the kittens ran away! First, they ran to Washington, D.C.
And then they ran away to Maui. There were seven shark attacks there, but the owner didn’t know.
When the owner was driving to the airport, he stopped to get some lunch.
Meanwhile, the kittens were sunbathing at the beach. Imagine you were one of those kids playing on the beach!
When the owner got there, he saw twenty-six kittens sunbathing. Then . . . dun-dun-dunnn . . . a tiger shark jumped up onto the beach!
The kittens screamed with fright. They scattered in every direction.
The tiger shark said, “Hey, where’s everyone going? There should be twenty-seven cats. I’m a tiger shark, and tigers are cats, so we must be related!”
The kittens stared for a minute or two and tossed him a banjo and called their owner. They all had a festive vacation having a party with their long lost uncle tiger shark.
Well done, Eleanor!