“Okay,” Henry said to himself. “Maybe my room is a little bit messy.” This was an understatement. Henry could barely walk into his room without stepping on something.

His bed was piled with shirts, sweaters, jeans, socks, corduroy pants, t-shirts, sneakers, loafers, slippers, hoodies, belts, hats, gloves and scarves. There was a mountain of magazines, paperback books, hardcover books, coloring books, notebooks, drawings, homework assignments and comic books next to the head of the bed and in the opposite corner were all of Henry’s footballs, baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, bouncy balls, tennis balls and dodge balls. On the floor near the foot of the bed he was staging a war between little plastic cowboys and green army men, and the way they were thrown around the room on their sides, upside down and on top of one another, it looked to be a very intense battle. Not far from the war was his collection of tanks, trucks, planes, helicopters, cars, motorcycles and spaceships all cluttered together in what looked like a crowded and peculiar parking lot. His closet was stuffed to the brim with stuffed animals, including bears, elephants, dogs, cats, giraffes, lions, tigers, bears, dolphins, sharks, dinosaurs and horses. It was just a bit overwhelming.

Henry looked around his room at the gigantic mess, and just thinking of trying to clean and organize all of it made him tired. He found a spot on the floor that was clear, except for a piece of paper and sat down. He didn’t even know where to start! Then, he picked up the piece of paper lying next to him. “That’s strange,” he thought. It didn’t look like anything he had ever seen before. It was folded in half and had his name written on it fancy, swooping letters, Henry Elbow. He unfolded the paper.

It was a treasure map! There was a big red X that said, “You are Here,” and little dashes that led to his closet, then a box that said, “Door to Outer Space,” and a circle that was apparently a lake of Space Sharks, a symbol that looked like a tree on fire called Fire Trees, a stick figure with one eye called a Cyclops. Behind the Cyclops was a box labeled, “Treasure.” This could be fun, Henry thought, but there’s just one problem. There’s no Door to Outer Space in my closet. I’ve been in my closet lots of times, and I’ve never seen a Door to Outer Space. To prove himself right, Henry got up and walked to his closet, clearing some of his stuffed animals out of the way in the spot where the map claimed a Door to Outer Space would be.

There was totally a Door to Outer Space.

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