Think TOY STORY in a bookstore and you have the tale of Little Book, a ‘tween hero who dares to become a bestseller after his frustrated author abandons him on the donation cart in a bookstore at the close of business one night. But only twelve hours until the bookstore reopens, and the Space-arrangers growing increasingly suspicious of him, he will have to work fast to prove he can rival the best the bookstore has to offer or risk being shredded into a pile of confetti.
Targeted Age Group:: 09-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
As a kid, I loved reading books because they allowed me to visit worlds I could only imagine. My mind has always been my favorite place to play so after watching TOY STORY, I decided to create a story as told from a book's perspective. Hence, the SHELF LIFE series was born.
At 11:52 p.m., Little Book emerged from the crowd of inhabitants to stand before the stage. He seemed surprised that he hadn’t encountered any Space Arrangers along the way. Though he half expected to be tackled by at least a dozen of them, he didn’t let it deter him. Instead, he smiled politely and tried to ignore the excited whispers that rippled through the audience as he walked by.
“Look!” said a stunned voice in the crowd. “It’s The Good Book!”
“That can’t be him,” muttered another. “The Good Book never leaves the top shelf.”
“He looks so much younger in person,” whispered another.
As more heads turned his way, Little Book began to feel slightly unnerved by all the inhabitants fawning over him. A second later, when Ms. Books’ll Thrill Ya locked eyes on him, he thought he would melt.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” she announced breathlessly, “it seems once again, our nightly talent competition is winding down to its final moments. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching your fellow inhabitants compete for bragging rights as much as I have, and that you’ll join us tomorrow night when we do it all over again.”
She glimpsed the cue cards in her hand before she continued. “Officially, there are still five minutes remaining in the competition, so if there are any last-minute competitors, please come forward at this time.”
“Excuse me,” said Little Book, waving to her from the front row. “I’d like to compete.”
Right away, Ms. Books’ll Thrill Ya spotted Little Book and beckoned him up with an airy wave.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a taker. Please welcome our last performer in tonight’s talent competition—” She paused to glimpse the title written across Little Book’s chest, “—The Good Book!”
Audience members craned their necks to get a gander at the pint-sized little book standing beside Ms. Books’ll Thrill Ya on stage. The next moment, more excited whispers of, “It’s The Good Book,” rippled through the audience.
Enamored by the pint-sized Good Book, Ms. Books’ll Thrill Ya stretched the microphone toward him. “So, Good Book,” she said with a pleasant smile, “what talent will you be performing tonight?”
“I’m gonna sing a song,” Little Book replied in his most confident voice.
“A song?” Ms. Books’ll Thrill Ya echoed in mild surprise. “What’s the name of your song, little one?”
“It’s called, ‘Never Turn a Page Too Soon,’” said Little Book. “I’d like to dedicate it to my author, Paige Turner.”
Ms. Books’ll Thrill Ya smiled sweetly and made a sweeping gesture with her arm. “Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, please welcome our very own Good Book singing, ‘Never Turn a Page Too Soon’!”
Ms. Books’ll Thrill Ya handed The Good Book (a.k.a Little Book) the microphone, then hurried backstage.
Alone on stage with the microphone in hand, Little Book gazed at the audience of literary inhabitants thinking this was his moment—the one he was made for. All at once, the house lights dimmed, a hush fell over the audience, and Little Book regarded the sea of up-turned faces rather calmly—despite his heart pounding in his chest.
He exhaled slowly, then locked eyes with the tuxedo-clad music conductor in the orchestra pit just a few feet away. “Play something upbeat and jazzy in the key of F,” Little Book told him.
As directed, the conductor readied the five-piece combo band with a gentle wave of his hand. Taking their cue, a pair of drumsticks levitated in the air and struck the snare drum once while the bass guitar, electric guitar, saxophone, and keyboard all played a sample chord.
Liking the sound, Little Book nodded. A hush fell over the audience as he waited for the music to begin. When the five-piece combo band launched into the instrumental introduction a second later, he burst into song:
Three hours are gone and here I stand.
Thought you’d be wonderin’ how I am.
Woke up to find I was all alone
in this place I must now call home.
First, I was fraught and filled with fright.
Got a new look and now everything’s all right.
My twin friends said you gave me away,
and left me with all these books to play.
Look out, lady. You might ‘a turned the page too soon.
All at once, energy in the room ignited. The audience members leaped to their feet, clapping to the beat as The Good Book impersonator danced and pranced across the stage, giving them all a taste of the fanciest footwork they had ever seen. Head swiveling, hips gyrating, he puckered his pouty lips and crooned the second verse:
You left me in this big ole store.
Turns out it’s one I’m well-suited for.
I’m counted one of about sixty grand.
They took me in and now here I stand.
That kind of luck is so profound,
It makes uptight books come unbound.
You left me standin’, lady, at the door, but
you know I ain’t living with you no more.
It’s too bad. I think you turned a page too soon.
The saxophone in the orchestra pit launched into a solo that was soon accompanied by all the other instruments in the band. Oozing with confidence, Little Book flapped his arms funky chicken style, then moonwalked across the stage, all while the audience of inhabitants cheered him on:
“Go, Good Book… Go, Good Book… Go, Good Book!”
From their shared seat in the front row, the pranksters marveled at the audience’s reaction to Little Book hoofing it up on stage.
“They like him,” Clyde rasped to his brother. “They really like him.”
“Like him?” thundered Cletus. “They love him! We hit the jackpot, baby. Look out, top shelf. Here we come!”
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