ROBBIE THE RECORD

 

Vinyl is having a huge resurgence.  What better way to introduce records to a younger generation than through a book about a record read to you by a record! (in the style of the Read Along books from the 70s and 80s!)

Ages: 2-8


[Note:  This book about the life of a record would come with an actual 7” record of the corresponding audio, a la the Read Along books of the 70s and 80s.]

This is the story of Robbie the Record.  You can follow his story with me in your book.  Whenever you hear this sound (scratch), turn the page.  Ready? 

[Art Note:  A Boy or Girl (not the hero from this book) sits next to a portable record player smiling while holding an open Robbie the Record book.  On the record player, a 45 spins!]

Robbie is a record.   He’s round, flat, and made of plastic.  He loves to spin.  But most of all, he loves to make music.  (scratch)

[Art Note: Robbie is an anthropomorphized New Wave record.  He possibly has a New-Wave 80s haircut.]

***

Robbie was born long ago in a time called The 80s.  The 80s was a strange time filled with wonderful things like Big Hair, Breakdancing, and Moonboots.

[Art Note:  We are outside an 80s Record Store where a few very 80s Teenagers are hanging out. For example… maybe a Metal Head talks to a female dressed like 80s-era Madonna (and wearing Moon Boots) while a Break Dancer dressed like 80-era Michael Jackson spins on cardboard.]

When Robbie was little, he lived in a record store.  There, he and his friends would take turns riding on a record player.  The record player’s arm would tickle their bellies, and that would make Robbie and his friends make music and sing all types of songs. (scratch)

[Art Note:  The Record Store looks like something out of High Fidelity.  Robbie spins on the store’s record player.  The Clerk is delightfully nerdy and is perhaps selling a record to a Goth.]

*** 

Some of Robbie’s friends liked to sing loud songs called Punk Rock (a generic Punk riff plays).  Others liked to sing songs with big beats called Rap (a generic Rap plays).  And a few liked to sing slow songs called Power Ballads (a generic Power Ballad plays).  

[Art Note:  Each record is anthropomorphized like Robbie, only reflecting their corresponding genre.  They possibly have record jackets next to them too that are inspired by favorite albums of the genre.]

But not Robbie. Robbie liked the funny sounds of keyboards and the perfect rhythm of electronic beats, so he would sing songs called New Wave (Robbie’s generic New Wave song plays).  (scratch)

[Art Notes:  Robbie spins on the record player next to the store Clerk.  Robbie’s jacket resembles a Cars record.]

*** 

One day, when Robbie was riding the record player, a boy walked into the record store.  He liked Robbie’s songs so much; he decided to take Robbie home with him.

[Art Notes:  The Boy (13) doesn’t look very “New Wave” since he hasn’t discovered the genre yet. He is purchasing Robbie and clearly very excited about his find.]

The boy had a record player at home just like the one at the record store, and he let Robbie ride on it all day and all night until Robbie was dizzy.  Sometimes the boy would listen to Robbie alone.  (scratch)

[Art Note:  The Boy sits in his bedroom on the floor in front of a portable record player listening to Robbie.]

***

Sometimes with his friends.  

[Art Note:  The Boy and a group of friends are dancing to his record in his room.]

And sometimes with a special someone.  

[Art Note:  The Boy sits on the edge of his bed, innocently holding hands with a Girl, as Robbie spins.]

Robbie liked singing songs for the boy.  And the boy loved listening to Robbie’s songs over and over again.  (scratch)

*** 

But like all boys, this one got older.  One day it was time for him to go to college.  There, the boy wouldn’t have a very big room, so the boy had to leave many of his favorite things behind… including Robbie.

[Art Note:  The Boy, wearing a sweatshirt that says “College” stands by the door to his room holding a suitcase, and looks back longingly.]

Many years passed.   Robbie missed riding the record player.  He missed being tickled by the record player’s arm.  But most of all, Robbie missed making music and singing songs.  (scratch)

[Art Note:  Robbie sadly sits at the bottom of a dark closet (with the door left half-open) next to a bunch of other sad 80s things that were left behind (a puzzle cube resembling a Rubik’s Cube, a robot toy resembling a Transformer, etc.)]

***

Then, one day, Robbie heard a noise.  A little girl had wandered into the boy’s room. 

            [Art Note:  Robbie’s POV from the closet as a 10-year-old Girl walks in.]

There, she found Robbie.  She picked him up and looked at him with a confused look on her face.  “Dad!” she yelled.  “What’s this?”  (scratch)

 [Art Note:  The Girl picks up Robbie and turns towards the door.]

***

A man walked into the room.  “Why, that’s a record,” said the man.  “But not just any record.  It’s my favorite.  It was mine when I was your age.”  Suddenly, Robbie realized who the man was.  He was the boy he knew a long time ago.  He was all grown up!

[Art Note:  The Grown Boy is now in his 40s.]

The man carefully picked up Robbie, and placed him on the record player. (scratch)

[Art Notes:  The Grown Boy and the Girl sit in front of the record player on the floor and listen to the record (possibly a similar angle from the first time the Boy listened to the record).]

***

It had been a long time since Robbie felt what it was like to spin.  But when the tickle of the record player’s arm gently landed on Robbie’s belly, Robbie once again sang his songs as if he had just sang them yesterday. 

“Can we take the record home with us?” the girl asked.  The man smiled.  “Why, I think that’s a great idea.”  (scratch)

***

Robbie was soon in his new home.  There, he met new friends like Sydney the CD who looked a lot like Robbie but shinier, and Marty the MP3 who didn’t look like much of anything at all.  But even though they looked a little different, and sounded a little different too, they all had one thing in common – they all loved singing songs for the girl.  And the girl loved listening to their songs over and over and over again.  (Robbie’s song plays us out!)

[Art Note:  In the Girl’s room, Robbie spins on the record player as an anthropomorphized CD and MP3 player sit nearby smiling.  The girl dances in the distance.]


REFERENCE