I started writing Brady the Book Sailor short stories to foster Brady’s interest in reading. When the real Brady not only became an avid reader (he’s now reading far beyond his grade level), but also started writing his own stories, Brady the Book Sailor went into semi-retirement. The real Brady is smart and clever and funny (he came up with the title for this story) and is quite the prolific writer, with an ever expanding universe of stories and spin-offs, heroes and supervillains, including the likes of The Kind Little Truck, Robot Snowman, Power Monkey, and Immortal Genius.
But with the whole world stuck inside, the time seemed right to pull up anchor and unfurl the sails for another journey, to be told in two parts. You can start at the beginning of Brady the Book Sailor’s adventures or dive right in here…
Brady opened his eyes and looked at the clock: 6:00 a.m.. Time to get up and go to school! Oh, wait. Now he had video school because of the coronavirus. He climbed out of bed, and his foot was juuuuuust about to hit the floor when he heard five small sounds.
He looked down at the floor to see the entire Storyvore Family. The Storyvores were only three inches tall, and they usually lived at the library, where they filled their tummies by reading stories instead of by eating food. The parents were Milne and Diana; the kids were Padme and Pilke, and the dog was named Esteban the Magnificent. (The Storyvore family LOVED Drew Daywalt).
Brady caaaaaaarefully set his foot down so as to not squish the tiny family.
“What are you guys doing here? Oh, I guess the library must be kinda boring now with everyone gone!”
“Yes,” said Pilke. “Well, of course, we still get to read great stories for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert, but it IS kinda boring with the library all empty. So we’re going around checking in on all of our Book Sailors and telling them about the new Magic Purple Library Card rule!
Milne asked, “Do you have plenty of good books at home to read?”
“Yes!” Brady said. “I’ve read the entire Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis, and the latest Bad Guys book by Aaron Blabey. Now I’m starting on the junior novelizations of the Star Wars prequels! But I got Auntie Kimberly to read them first and warn me where the scary and sad parts are so I can skip them.”
“Wait,” said Padme. “I thought Auntie Kimberly was reading the Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan and the Rise of Skywalker Novelization by Rae Carson. And doesn’t she feel the same way about the prequels that Anakin Skywalker feels about sand? You actually got her to read BOOKS OF THE PREQUELS?”
“Ha, ha!” Brady said. “I gave her puppy dog eyes, and she totally fell for it!”
“Ha, ha! Said Padme. “Well done! Did you know that I am named after one of the characters in the prequels?”
“Of course!” Brady said. “I named you!”
“Wait,” said Padme. “You WHAT???”
“Whoops,” Brady said. “I mean, I, um…hey!
Brady frantically thought of a way to change the subject.
“So…what’s that new Magic Purple Library Card rule that you were going to tell me about?”
Magic Purple Library Cards were special cards that Book Sailors could use to travel into any book that they’d read, or any movie or DVD that they had watched, or even into new books that were still being written. Brady was a Book Sailor, and so was his Auntie Kimberly.
“Well, said Pilke,” now that everyone is stuck inside, you can use your Magic Purple Library Card to travel anywhere in the future! And it can be real life! Not just a book or movie or DVD! You just need to email what you want to do and when you want to do it! Oh, and you can take fellow Book Sailors with you by copying them on your email! As you can imagine, the Magic Purple Library Card Network is kinda busy, so you can only do two requests per day. Just go to MagicPurpleLibraryCard.com, and you will see instructions for setting up your Magic Purple Library Card email account!”
“WHOA!” Said Brady! “Auntie Kimberly is totally going to flip out when she hears this!”
“Oh, we just told her,” said Diana. “We showed up on her kitchen counter, and she jumped so bad when we said ‘Hello’ that she almost spilled her coffee!”
“Haha, Auntie spilling her coffee would have been a tragedy!” Brady said.
“That’s what your Auntie said,” Milne replied. But I think it would have been more of a tiny problem.”
“I agree!” Brady said. “Like Auntie having to eat her third-favorite yogurt, because the stores are all out of her first and second favorite kinds. Well, thanks for checking up on me, and letting me know about the new rule!”
“You bet!” said Milne, as the Storyvore family all started to fade away. One more thing! You’ll forget…”
But then the Storyvore family was gone.
“Huh,” Brady thought to himself. “I’ll forget?” I’ll forget what? Maybe Milne meant, ‘Don’t forget that I can only do two email requests per day’”.
As soon as video school was over and he’d finished his homework, Brady went to MagicPurpleLibraryCard.com and followed the instructions for setting up his new email account. He got to pick the email address that he would use.
“Haha,” Brady thought as he typed in his new email. “Auntie will be SO annoyed by this.”
He logged on to his new email account, and a new message popped up. It was from SillySocks@AuntieKimberly.com. He knew who that was!
SillySocks@AuntieKimberly.com: OMG, did you hear??
JarJarRocks@BradyTheBookSailor.com: Yes!!! This is going to be SO cool!
SillySocks@AuntieKimberly.com: Wait…did you pick that email just to annoy me
JarJarRocks@BradyTheBookSailor.com: Yes! Is it working?
SillySocks@AuntieKimberly.com: Yes! But I’m still super excited about this new rule! We are going to have SO much fun! I’m just bummed that GrapeBeard won’t be able to come with us.
GrapeBeard was a friendly pirate who had a beard made of grapes. He lived on an island and sailed the seas in a bathtub ship. He often accompanied Brady and Auntie on their Book Sailing adventures.
JarJarRocks@BradyTheBookSailor.com: Hold on, I just had another email come in.
BathtubShipDude@magicpurplelc.com: OMG, Brady, did you hear about the new rule???
JarJarRocks@BradyTheBookSailor.com: GrapeB!!!!! I didn’t know you had a computer!!! Hold on, let me email Auntie Kimberly and copy you, so we can all be on the same email chain.
BathtubShipDude@magicpurplelc.com: Cool email, dude! Did you pick that just to annoy your Auntie?
JarJarRocks@BradyTheBookSailor.com: Haha, Yes! And it worked! Hold on…I’ll link us all in.
JarJarRocks@BradyTheBookSailor.com: GrapeB…Auntie Kimberly…we’re all on the same email chain now! What should we do?
SillySocks@AuntieKimberly.com: Well, we only get two email requests per day. Remember that the “when” is “after the coronavirus is gone”. Brady, you can go first.
JarJarRocks@BradyTheBookSailor.com: Magic Purple Library Card, I want to touch cardboard boxes after the coronavirus is gone.
Brady hit the “send” button, and the next thing he knew, they were all standing at the counter at a FedEx store.
There were a whole bunch of cardboard boxes behind the counter!
“Hello,” said Brady to the man at the counter. “Is the coronavirus gone?”
“Um…yes,” said the man. “It’s been gone for a few weeks now. Have you been living under a rock? Didn’t you see the giant parade that they threw for the scientists and doctors and nurses and all the other hospital workers and the caregivers and mail carriers and farmers and grocery workers and delivery people? It was awesome!”
“Oh, yeah…I…uh…forgot.” said Brady. (He wasn’t sure how the FedEx guy felt about time travel, and didn’t want to freak him out.) “I was wondering if I could go behind the counter and touch all of your cardboard boxes?”
The man gave Brady a funny look. “Ummm…knock yourself out,” the man said, as he opened the special door to let Brady behind the counter.
Brady went in. He touched one box. And then another. Touch! Touch! Touch! Then he did a little dance. (The Floss.) Then he touched some more boxes! Touch! Touch! Touch! Then he did the Floss again.
After Brady had touched ALL the cardboard boxes, he thanked the FedEx man, and left the store with Auntie Kimberly and GrapeB.
The next moment, they were each sitting at their own computers.
SillySocks@AuntieKimberly.com: Dude, we only get to make TWO requests per day. I can’t believe out of ALL the things you could do, you just wanted to touch a bunch of cardboard boxes.
JarJarRocks@BradyTheBookSailor.com: Hey, one kid’s cardboard box is also that same kid’s…um…cardboard treasure. Or something like that.
Auntie Kimberly started to type:
My turn! Magic Purple Library Card, I want to go to Starbucks after the coronavirus is go-
But then Auntie Kimberly had a genius idea and decided to get more specific. She backspaced over what she had written and composed a new message:
SillySocks@AuntieKimberly.com: Magic Purple Library Card, I want to go to Starbucks after the coronavirus is gone AND during Pumpkin Spice Latte season.
She hit SEND, and the next instant, she was standing in line at Starbucks with Brady and GrapeB. They looked up at the menu and saw Pumpkin Spice Lattes!
“Oh, man,” said Auntie Kimberly. “I’m totally gonna happy cry.”
“Don’t even THINK about it,” GrapeB said. People will stare at us if you burst into tears at the Starbucks counter over a Pumpkin Spice Latte.”
“Dude,” Auntie said. “People are ALREADY staring at us because YOU have a beard made of grapes.”
“Ha ha!” GrapeB said, as he plucked out a few grapes from his beard and tossed them to the Starbucks customers. They caught the grapes in mid-air and popped them into their mouths.
They got to the front of the line. Auntie Kimberly said to the Barista, “I’d like a Pumpkin Spi…”
“A Pumpkin Spi…”
She sniffled again. Then she burst into loud, soggy, happy tears.
“Is…um…she OK?” the Barista asked Brady and GrapeB.
“Don’t worry,” Brady said. “She’s happy crying. She just wants a Pumpkin Spice Latte, please” said Brady.
“No worries,” the Barista said. “Lots of people happy cry at Starbucks every Fall when the Pumpkin Spice Lattes come out.”
Brady ordered a cake pop. GrapeB loudly asked for one of the round puffy cookie things with the hole in the middle. Everyone in the store turned around to stare.
“Ha, ha!” Brady said to the Barista. “He’s an exchange student from…um…really far away! He’d like a donut, please.”
Brady whispered to GrapeB, “Next time, maybe let Auntie or I order the food.”
“You got it, dude,” GrapeB whispered back. Then, loudly enough for the entire store to hear, he said, “Yes! I have traveled far from Bathtubistan to learn the ways of America and eat round puffy cookie things!”
Brady slapped his forehead with his palm. Auntie Kimberly paid the Barista, left a tip, and they picked up their orders. They quickly went and sat down at a table outside, as GrapeB had created quite a scene inside the store.
Brady took a bite of his cake pop. Yum!
GrapeB took his first bite of a donut ever. “OMG!,” he said! “Never have I experienced such tastiness! I shall eat round puffy cookie things for every meal for the rest of my life!”
“Ummm,” Brady said, “donuts are kind of more of a treat thing than a meal thing.”
In the meantime, Auntie Kimberly had chugged her entire Pumpkin Spice Latte.
She sighed and said, “OMG, that was soooooooo delici-“
She stopped. She seemed frozen in place.
Brady and GrapeB looked at her, and Brady asked, “Dude, are you OK?”
“Pumpkin Spice Lattes come out in the Fall,” she said slowly, as if she was trying to work something out in her brain.
“Yeah, you might have mentioned that one or two or five thousand times,” Brady said.
“That. Means. It. Is. Fall. Right. Now,” she said.
“Great!” said Brady. “You’ve learned your seasons! Next time, we’ll practice the months of the year!”
“No, you don’t understand,” Auntie Kimberly said. “Pumpkin Spice Lattes come out every fall, but what SPECIFICALLY COMES OUT THISFALL? AS IN, FALL 2020?”
Suddenly, Brady got it. First, he jumped up and down, and then he did the most joyful Floss dance in the history of the Floss.
Brady and Auntie Kimberly looked at each other, and at the same time, shouted, “BAAAABYYY YOOOOOOOODAAAAAAAAAA!”
Then they started singing: Da da DA…da da DA DA DAAAAAA…da da DAAAAA…da DA da da…
“WHAT are you guys going on about? Yoda had a baby???” GrapeB asked.
Brady said, “It’s kind of a long story.”
“Actually, a REALLY long story,” Auntie said.
And Brady said, “We’ll show you tomorrow. It’s gonna be an AWESOME day.”
To be continued…