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National Book Festival Presents Brad Meltzer

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>>[Background Theme Song] Check
out our new show, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum,
on PBS Kids!>>Brad: [Singing] Who’s that
kid who can travel through time?>>Xavier: Xavier Riddle
and the Secret Museum!>>Yadina: Which great
heroes will we find?>>Xavier: Xavier Riddle
and the Secret Museum!>>Brad:Every single
boy and girl>>Yadina: Has what
it takes to…>>All: Change the world!>>Brad: Brad!>>Yadina: And Yadina!>>All: And the Secret Museum!>>Xavier: Xavier Riddle
and the Secret Museum!>>Yadina: Our brand new show
starts Monday on PBS Kids!>>Announcer: [Applause]
Welcome the Library’s Chief Communication Officer,
Roswell Encina!>>Roswell Encina:
Good evening, everyone! How are you?>>Audience: Good!>>Roswell Encina: Are you
all excited for tonight? Yay! Well, so, on behalf
of the Library of Congress, Carla Hayden, and the
remarkable staff of the Library of Congress, welcome
to another edition of our National Book
Festival Presents, and we have a great
one for you tonight. So, we have an excellent author,
you all know who he is, right? He has written a lot of
thrillers, I think most adults in the room know the
thrillers he’s written. His latest one is, The Escape
Artist, it’s very interesting because one of the characters, something interesting I should
say, just happens to the Library of Congress in the first
chapter of that book. So I encourage you
to all read it. And Brad Meltzer’s also written
his first non-fiction book about the conspiracy to
kill George Washington, so I encourage all
of you to read that. But, most of all,
he’s written — he’s sold more than
12 million books, which includes these I Am books,
[cheering & applause] right? So, because I work here at
the Library of Congress, I’m very partial
towards these books. I’m hoping you saw
our display outside. It has some of the items
connected to some of these — to these historical
figures, like Rosa Parks. The Library of Congress is
opening our very first Rosa Parks exhibition
later this year. It has our elaborate collection. You’ll get a little sample
outside, you’ll see the hat that was worn by Rosa Parks, but also you’ll see the other
characters from his I Am books, which includes Harriet Tubman,
you’ll see some photographs of Harriet Tubman, you’ll see
photographs of Walt Disney, and Gandhi, and so I’m hoping
you can appreciate all that. And that’s just a little
snippet of what the Library of Congress has, but we’ll
be joined also here tonight by illustrator, Chris
Eliopoulos, for a very special presentation
that you just saw that will be on PBS Kids starting this
Monday, November 11th. It’s titled, Xavier Riddle
and the Secret Museum based on their best-selling
children’s book series, Ordinary People Change
the World. Who’s excited to
see it on Monday? [Applause and cheering]
And, of course, the best part is you will
be one of the first people to see it before it
premieres on PBS Kids. And, speaking of PBS
Kids, we want to thank PBS for their support for tonight. As you walked in, you
saw these marvelous bags and backpacks on your seats. It has a copy of these books,
I’m hoping you’ll bring it and have Brad and Chris sign it
during the reception afterwards. And speaking of the reception, we hope you can join
us afterwards. We’re going to have so much fun. You saw all those characters
outside, you’ll get a chance to take selfies with
them and, of course, enjoy some refreshments
generously donated by PBS and we appreciate it. Also out here tonight are our
partners, East City Books, who are our partners for the
National Book Festival Presents, so please visit their booth
and purchase more books. We’d like that! Now as many of you know, the Library of Congress hosts
the National Book Festival every year. It’s usually Labor Day weekend. This past Labor Day, we had about 200,000 people
visit the National Book Festival in one day to see about 140
authors and illustrators, so we decided, because
it’s been so successful, why not make it year-round? So this National Book Festival
presents is an offshoot of the big annual book festival. So we were thinking, this
annual book festival will be like a countdown
to the big festival that happens in September. So we’re hoping that you
would enjoy the series, the next one would be next
Wednesday with author, Andre Aciman, he is
the author of, Find Me, which is the sequel to,
Call Me By Your Name. So that would be
Wednesday, November 13th, right here at the
Library of Congress. So I know you’re not here
to listen to me talk all about all our stuff here,
but so let’s get right to it. Once again, I want to thank
our partners, PBS Kids, for bringing our speakers and generously hosting tonight’s
screening and reception, and to introduce
our special guests, please welcome Linda Simensky,
head of PBS Kids content. [ Applause ]>>Linda Simensky:
Thank you, Roswell. I’d like to thank Roswell
and the Library of Congress for hosting this event. We all appreciate your support. And I want to thank
the team at 9 Story who produced this series. And I also want to especially
thank the co-creators of the show, Brad Meltzer
and Chris Eliopoulos, for the amazing hard work
they’ve put into this show. We’re thrilled to
premier Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
Monday on PBS Kids. And this evening,
you’re all going to get the first
sneak peek at it. As we’re gearing up to celebrate
the 50th anniversary of PBS, we’re proud to be launching
a show that’s so in line with our mission to spark
kids learning and curiosity. I’ve always wanted a series
on our air that told stories from histories throughout
history in a way that would be fun for
all of you to watch. When I saw The Ordinary
People Change the World books, I instantly loved the approach
that Brad took to telling to these stories
through the ideas of these heroes when
they were kids. Now paired with Chris’s
amazing illustrations, I knew we had a winner
on our hands. And as you’ll soon
see, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum introduces
kids to iconic figures from history and to some of
the important experiences that shape their lives. Along the way, this series
emphasizes positive character skills, such as courage,
resilience, and commitment to setting and accomplishing
goals. Now our hope is that Xavier
will show kids that they, too, have what it takes
to become a hero. And now, without further
ado, I’d like to invite one of my heroes up to the stage. Please welcome number one New
York Times best-selling author, and my friend, Brad Meltzer. [ Cheering and Applause ]>>Brad Meltzer: We have
one surprise…I love seeing everyone here tonight, come on,
it’s Library of Congress, right? We’re going to have fun! [Cheering and applause] So,
this is a surprise actually for one person who’s
on the stage, she doesn’t know it’s going
to be for her, and, Linda, the only reason we are all here
tonight is because of Linda. And when the very first books
came out, when I was going to the Library of Congress
to do the book festival, I had breakfast with Linda that
morning, and we talked about, I am Amelia Earhart and
I Am Abraham Lincoln. And she said, how do we
make this into a show? And it is her. She is the one that
brought us into PBS and helped us develop this
show, that helped us flesh out the ideas and told
me, time and time again, that’s a bad version, let’s
find a better version, and always fought, and truly,
always fought to make it, as in her words,
more like the books. And to that end, we had Chris do
this, this is a present for you, Linda, your very own hero
book, I Am Linda Simensky. [Cheering and applause] So, and,
by the way, we had a huge — it was a very important
thing, is PBS, we said, what does she wear? Does she wear red? Does she wear black? And they were like
always black [laughter]. So when your character is
wearing what you’re wearing next to you, I’m just
a little bit upset that we didn’t get the
pants perfectly right, but we love you. Thank you. Let’s hear it for Linda. [Applause]>>Linda: Thank you.>>Brad Meltzer: Love you. First thing I want to do
is a couple thank yous, very important ones. Marie and Mary and the Library
of Congress team, Roswell, please, thank you, thank you,
thank you for what you did here. I hope everyone goes out
and checks out the exhibit. There is Rosa Parks’ hat,
there’s awesome stuff, look at it, because I’m going to
steal half the things tonight, like Benjamin Gates in National
Treasure, like, I’m telling you, go, that’s such an old
joke, if you’ve got that, that’s middle age [laughter]. Like you’re a middle-aged
parent. Truly. Obviously, Linda, who
we love, and Sharon and Maria, [inaudible], Veronica, Chloe
from PBS, and Brad, I don’t know where you are, but my
doppelganger, Brad, everyone whose named
Brad involved with this project is bald
[laughter], and I love that. But have helped us
from the start and we have our 9 Story
team of Vince and Jen, Corey and Megan, we have Nora. Jody Reimder [assumed spelling]
is our agent who did the books. We would not be here
without her and we love you, she came from New York to
support us on this night. Our friends who are here,
and I know where you sit, and the friends who
showed up late, they’re not friends anymore,
look, that one right there, the one walking out, that guy, he was my friend,
but not anymore. That guy, [laughter]
he’s trying to ignore it, he’s trying to ignore it,
that’s Chris, everyone, that’s Chris whose late. That’s him. I see you. I see you. There’s nothing better than embarrassing your
friends in a crowded room. Truly. The only reason
I wrote these books was to do that tonight. And then Cori, my wife is here,
and Audra, who is Chris’s wife, is here, his twin boys are
here, and I’m going to bring — my brother, Chris Eliopoulos,
those are the thank yous. We would not, you know,
everyone always says, you know, it’s our names that go up there, but only the fool thinks
it’s a two-person show. It’s not just me and Chris,
it’s this entire family, this entire team,
and it’s all of you. And what they asked
me to talk about is where this came from, right? Because you’re going to
be the first ones to see, this is like our world
premier and, you know, usually the world premier is
in Hollywood, but who wants to be in Hollywood, right? If you come on a Friday
night to the Library of Congress, you are a nerd! Right? [Laughter]
Like [applause], and we love you for it! There — there is no better
place, like we couldn’t — if I said, how to
make it nerdier? I’d be like, we can’t,
there is no nerfier level that Friday night at
the Library of Congress. And — and the only thing
nerdier is, like, you know, and we’re going to
talk about books. Like, it’s fantastic, and
not network television, PBS. It’s the best. It’s truly a triumvirate
of nerd. It’s spectacular. So I’ll tell you very quickly
where the show came from. And the show came from all the
kids who we have here tonight, your loving parents who
brought your children out to watch cartoons
on a Friday night. I started this with my kids. And I told my daughter that Amelia Earhart
is the great hero. We wanted to give Amelia
Earhart a great hero, you know, that she would look up to, she
flew across the Atlantic Ocean, and my daughter is like, big
deal, Dad, everyone flies across the Atlantic Ocean. She wasn’t impressed. My daughter doesn’t care,
but I told her the true story that when Amelia Earhart was
7-years-old she built a homemade roller coaster in her backyard. And my daughter loved
that version. She was like, tell
me more about that. And we said, that’s
what we’re going to do. We’re going to do, [inaudible], I Am Amelia Earhart,
we started with. And after I Am Amelia Earhart,
we did, I Am Abraham Lincoln. We did Rosa Parks. We did Albert Einstein. My son who loves sports,
I was like, you know what, you want to see what a real
sports hero looks like? It’s not a millionaire
who scores lots of points, you want to see what a
real hero looks like? It’s Jackie Robinson. He’s a real one, right? [Applause] Thank you, right? And when we realize
this, that was the goal, the mission became, how do we
give our kids better heroes to look up to? I’m tired of them looking at
reality show TV stars and people who are famous for being famous. How do we give them
lessons of character, of kindness, of compassion? That became the mission. And we did, I Am Lucille Ball,
because I wanted my daughter to have a female entertainment
hero who wasn’t just famous for being thin and pretty. Lucy stood up for the idea
that, it’s not just okay to be different, it’s
spectacular to be different. That’s the best part of
all of us here today. We don’t celebrate that much
in America anymore, right? We look down at difference, and
we shouldn’t, it’s a disaster. The best thing in this room
is all of us are different. And I want my daughter
to have that lesson too. We did Helen Keller,
you know, Helen Keller, when she goes blind, the
pages of the book go black. It says, here’s how
I see the world. Cover your ears, here’s
how I hear the world, we put real Braille
into the book. And it says, feel these dots? This is my name. My name is Helen,
what’s your name? And I watched my 18-year-old
son, who was obviously too old for the books, but I caught
him, I walked in the room and he had his eyes closed on the Braille page finding the
dots of his name, and he said, Dad, this one’s actually
good [laughter]. And I was like, actually? And that’s my house,
that’s not even a joke. But what a book does, and
what a good story does, the best thing it does
is it lets you look through someone else’s
eyes, even flawed eyes. And I love that we get to
bring that to kids too. And then we did — something
amazing happened as the election of 2016 was hitting, and
Donald Trump and Hillary were, every night, arguing on TV, two of our books started
selling more than any others. They were, I Am Martin
Luther King Jr., and I’m George Washington. And — and it wasn’t even,
you know, a democratic, republican thing, it was
actually that parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents
were tired of turning on the TV and seeing politicians,
what they wanted to show their kids were leaders. We all know, especially in this
town, there’s a huge difference between a politician
and a leader, right? And I love that you’re
here to make that difference known
[applause]. And the one thing that
all these heroes have in common is they’re
doing what they love. And so we have Jane Goodall,
I did for my daughter who loves our dog,
right, what she did with her love of animals. We did Sacajawea to teach how to
lead and blaze your own trail. Gandhi to find peace
at a time where we were so divided as a country. Just mindfulness and calm. Harriet Tubman as —
and Neil Armstrong, who he’d never use the word,
I, he used the word, we, we did this, we accomplished it. And he wasn’t just talking
about his fellow astronauts, he was talking about the people
who were the mathematicians, the people who were
the scientists, people who sewed a spacesuit
together, the tailors. Remember when humility was
a great American value? We’ve lost it. We pay attention to, now on
social media, those who write in all caps and triple
exclamation points, who shout on Twitter and
shout on Instagram everyday that they know everything and
who they are, I’m tired of that. I would much rather have
my kids look at someone like Neil Armstrong, right? [Applause] And, to
me, what’s so vital, is I know I’m not that special. You are here because you
have that same belief, right? That’s why you’re here tonight, is to give your kids
better heroes to look up to. So we did, right across the
street, right, [inaudible]. We did Billie Jean King, who Billie Jean King
helped us with the book. Right? I literally spent two
hours on the phone with her, if I mess up George Washington,
what’s he going to do? [Laughter] Right? Billie Jean King is going
to come with a tennis racket to my house, and the best part
is is she went through the book with us and she was like, yeah,
this part’s wrong, and I said, wait, you know what, no offense, but I got that from your
autobiography, and she said, I know, but, you know, I was so busy back then
I never proofed it. So I love that our book,
I Am Billie Jean King, is more accurate than
her autobiography. Like, that’s spectacular to me. The newest ones, which you
have, I think some of you, in your bags tonight,
you’ll see a Marie Curie and Walt Disney, right? And that leads us
to Xavier Riddle. And I’m going to introduce
you to each character, and Xavier Riddle
starts like this. Oh, sorry, here’s the
new one too, by the way, because they’re like,
[inaudible], yes, the new one [applause],
thank you, Amy. But I’ll show you,
this is Xavier. Aww is right! And Xavier is enthusiastic, he
is — you say, do you want to? He says, yes. No matter what the answer is,
or whatever the question is. But he can’t even tie his
shoes, he’s always a mess, he’s all of us in this
ADHD world, right? Who just is — can be
enthusiastic, but is a dreamer and loves to race forward. He has a sister,
Yadina, who wants to grow up with one mission in mind, she’s going to be the president
one day, and she will be, I have no doubt about it. She is determined,
focused on it. And her little turtle,
Doctor Zoom. And then there’s probably the
greatest hero of all time, the most beautifully-drawn hero
that I’ve ever [applause] — ever seen, and, obviously,
you know, I think it’s like Mickey Mouse and then Brad
is maybe, depending on where — but what I love about Brad,
Brad, when I pitched him to PBS, I said to them, here’s
what he is, is he’s Xavier’s best
friend, Yadina’s best friend, and when they’re going into the
woods, you know, Brad’s like, should we go in there? Do we have insurance? Like, is this going to be safe? And so he’s kind of
me on that level, but what he is is he’s
worried about everything. And our kids today are anxious. Right? We as adults are anxious. Our leaders make us anxious. Whatever side of
politics you’re on, the other side makes you anxious
and angry and every other thing, and we need to teach our
kids how to deal with that. And the truth is, we did it — it would be funny and it
would be a comedy bit, but it’s amazing, you’ll
see them in the episodes, what an amazing storytelling
device Brad has become to let us tell those
things that frighten all of us and scare all of us. And to tell our kids
every single episode, you’re not alone. And that’s what Brad is here
for, but what I’ll finish with is the true reason
why we’re here tonight, and it comes from this book. And we’re here —
[applause] I will tell you that when I was 5-years-old, Jim
Hensen and Mr. Rogers taught me that you could use
your creativity to put good into the world. And that is all Chris and
I are here to do tonight. We are trying to
use our creativity to put some good into the world. And what I love is Xavier
Riddle, you’re going to see it first here tonight,
but it debuts on Monday, 50 years and one day after
Sesame Street premiered. No pressure, right? [Laughter] But what
I love is that I got, when I was 5-years-old, and
I know Chris is the same, we watched Sesame Street, we
watched Mr. Rogers on PBS, and we got a spark,
something sparked in us. And I love that some kid in
this room or some kid watching out there is going to watch
this show and hopefully, if we do it right, that one of
them is going to ge a spark, and 45 years from now,
they’re going to be standing on this stage or
in some hologram or God knows how they do it, talking about what form
entertainment takes 45 years from now about their
show, about their book, and her story is going
to be incredible. I can’t wait for it. And so with that said,
I’m going to bring out, we’re going to put this on a
quick clip, but then we’re going to put on Chris Eliopoulos and
I want you to clap really loud for him because he’s
the true star, but here’s a very quick
look at Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.>>Xavier: [Background
Music] Guess what? There’s a bike rodeo
this weekend!>>Yadina: It’s an
obstacle course for bikes!>>Brad: Let me just oil up my training wheels,
and we can practice!>>Xavier: Oh, training
wheels aren’t allowed.>>Brad: Why not? Training wheels are awesome!>>Xavier: It says here
they stick out too far. It’d be dangerous.>>Brad: I guess
I’ll just stay home.>>Yadina: You could
always just try to ride without training wheels…>>Brad: I don’t think so. I wish I could go for
it, like Bike Man, but danger is not
my middle name. [Sigh] It’s Scott.>>Yadina: Are you
thinking what I’m thinking?>>Brad: That I should change
my middle name to Bike Man?>>Xavier: Yes, but no. To the secret museum! [ Music ]>>Xavier: Whoever we’re
meeting must be a musician! Johann Sebastian Bach! Nice hair! Hellen Keller! It’s Harry Houdini!>>Yadina: Amelia Earhart!>>Brad: George Washington
Carver.>>Yadina: Leonardo DaVinci!>>Xavier: That’s who
we’re going to meet! Ready for adventure?>>Yadina: Ready!>>Brad: [Sigh] Sorta ready.>>Yadina: Here we go!>>Brad: If you pay close
attention to everything in the world, the world
can teach you so much!>>Yadina: Woohoo!>>Brad: How’d you get
brave enough to fly through the air like that?>>Amelia Earhart: It was
something I wanted to do! So I said to myself,
go for it, Amelia! And then I did!>>Xavier: As Bach said, if you
want to get better at something, you have to work
hard and practice! Da da da da da da da!>>Brad: Bye, Marie Curie! Thank you for following
your dream!>>Xavier: So kids like
you can change the world! [Applause]>>Brad: Woah, woah, woah, woah! [Thudding sound] [Chuckling] [ Music ]>>Brad Meltzer: Let’s
hear it for Chris! [Applause]>>Chris Eliopoulos: I’m
telling ya, this — this is… [ Applause & Cheering ] You always do this. I hate this. [Sigh] This is like
the opening band coming out after the Rolling
Stones play. It’s not going to happen. [Laughter] So, yeah, so,
about almost 50 years ago, I was 2-years-old, and
sitting at home, bored, and my mother needed
a babysitter and that babysitter
became Sesame Street. I learned my numbers and my
letters through Sesame Street and I learned my
morals from Mr. Rogers. So, [applause] — so about 8
years ago, I get this message that says, would you
like to change the world? Usually I get those everyday, but they’re from a
Nigerian prince [laughter], this time it was my
friend, Brad Meltzer. He had an idea to do some books
that would inspire children all around the world that they
have greatness inside of them if they just realize
they had it. So, we decided to work
together, we decided on the art, that we wanted to
keep the characters as children throughout the
books because we wanted to show kids today that they
could be amazing heroes too. Why he chose me, I don’t know. When I show you in a
minute, you’ll realize that you could do the same thing
I do, but we took that book to Penguin Publishing and
they — and we said to them, do you want to join us
in changing the world? And they said, yes, we’re in. We did a number of books, we’re
coming up on book 20 in April. April, Leonardo DaVinci. And we realized that we wanted
to expand this even further. We needed more of a voice
to change the world, and we approached Linda
and asked her if she wanted to help us change the
world, and she said, yes. So five years later, here we
are, and I’m going to prove to you guys that it’s all him
and not me, because I’m going to teach you guys how to draw
the characters like I do. And if you can do it, maybe you’ll come animate
the show for us next year!>>Brad Meltzer: That’s right,
you’re getting jobs tonight. We’re going to be
hiring tonight.>>Chris Eliopoulos: In your
bags, you will have some paper and crayons, so why don’t you
pull those out and we’re going to learn a little lesson today.>>Brad Meltzer: By the way, if
you — these rows here, pass — pass some paper down to
these rows because we have to embarrass my friends
by having them draw. You got ’em?>>Chris Eliopoulos: You got it? You got some paper?>>Brad Meltzer: If Dave
doesn’t draw, Dave has to draw. That wasn’t even Chris, was it?>>Chris Eliopoulos: You didn’t
even think like you were going to have to do work
tonight, right? Why on [inaudible] keep the kids
busy so they don’t get anxious and want to run out of the
building and scream too much? Linda, are you drawing, Linda? Come on, Linda.>>Brad Meltzer: Okay, everyone
got their paper, get your paper, get your pencil or
crayon, they’re in the bag.>>Chris Eliopoulos: Jody,
alright, Jody’s going to do it.>>Brad Meltzer:
Okay, you got it? Wave it in the air so
we know you’re ready.>>Chris Eliopoulos: The
only one absolved is my wife because she has to deal with
me every single day drawing. So, she gets out. How are we doing? We ready? We good?>>Brad Meltzer: Let’s do it! You guys ready to draw?>>Audience: Yeah!>>Brad Meltzer: Are
you ready to draw?>>Audience: [Louder] Yes!>>Chris Eliopoulos:
Okay, so since we are in our nation’s capital,
let’s draw our 232nd President of the United States,
Abraham Lincoln. Right? 232nd? Kids? What number? [Inaudible audience
response] Good job! Okay.>>Brad Meltzer: By the
way, that joke does not — when the 16th president doesn’t
come out as a quick answer when you do this
in Georgia, people. Like, trust me.>>Chris Eliopoulos:
Okay, your first lesson, what is the first letter
in the word, cartoon?>>Audience: C!>>Chris Eliopoulos: Good job. I want to see a C! Halfway down on your
page, on the side. Here’s the deal. Ask my wife, where is she? Did she hide — oh,
there she is. She knows, I sit at home making
sound effects all day long, so I want you guys to join me
in making sound effects, okay? So, next up comes the letter,
U, I want to see a U shape. U! Let’s hear it!>>Audience: U!>>Chris Eliopoulos:
Especially adults. Alright, next up, we’re going
to do the letter I above the C, so it’s going to be I, C,
U watching me draw you. I, C, U. How are we doing
— oh, he’s taking pictures. Alright, next up, we’re going
to draw a straight line across. Berp. Boop. [Popping sound] Alright, let’s see you do sign
language for this. [Popping sound] I got nothing. Alright. Here we go. We’re going to do
two little lines. Boop, boop, on either side. [Audience making
sound effects] I love that you’re still doing this. Next up, two more lines! Boink, doink. Good job. So we know Abraham
Lincoln had a stove pipe hat, so we’re going to do straight
lines right off your page, cartoons can be silly and fun,
so we’re going to be silly and fun and draw, boom,
boom, right off the page. That’s really good. Next up, we’re going
to draw some hair. For hair this time, we’re going to do a number instead
of a letter. Kids, what number
do you want to do? Not 1, but 2, but…>>Audience: 3!>>Chris Eliopoulos: Three. Number three, right here. Boop boop. And that’s hair. And why don’t we give him hair on the other side,
some more hair. Boop boop. Alright, for these — for
those that know this answer, trivia question, where’s
the Library of Congress, trivia question, anybody know
how Abraham Lincoln smelled? With his nose! Good! We’re going
to do a backwards C in the middle of his face. Boop! That jokes
kill everywhere. Alright, let’s give some eyes. Dots on either side. I love that I’m making
you guys work. Friday night, I’m making
you work, they wanted to be at the bar, they’re
here doing work. Next work, we’re going to
give a couple of eyebrows. Doink, doink. [Audience chatter] And
let’s give a smile! So when we first came out
with the Abraham Lincoln book, Brad was doing some press,
and during that press, the reporter actually
asked if Abraham Lincoln at 9-years-old had a
beard, so, yes, he did. So we’re going to give him a
beard, it’s a bunch of U shapes. We’re going to go,
boop, boop, boop, boop, boop, boop, boop, boop. And, of course, you
talented artists, you, you have to sign your name,
put your name on your artwork. That’s mine. [ Cheering & Applause ] So, since we’re also
here for the show, I thought you guys would
want to draw the greatest, most handsome, wonderful comic
character you’ve ever met in your life, Brad. So we’re going to hear some
wise remarks from this guy, but here’s the first
lesson again. What letter do we start with?>>Audience: C!>>Chris Eliopoulos: Give me a
C, a bouncy C, boom, boom, boom. Now, of course, as you
can tell in real life, just like the cartoon, he
has a big, giant, round head, so let’s go up and
over and give a big, giant circle for a round head. Nothing, you got
nothing on that one?>>Brad Meltzer: I like it! I like it!>>Chris Eliopoulos: Alright. Here we go. So let’s do the other
ear on the other side. It’s a backward C. Boop. Boom. There you go. Alright, time for the nose! How — everybody know
how Brad Meltzer smells?>>Brad Meltzer: Come
on, it’s an easy joke!>>Chris Eliopoulos: Yeah,
well, you go out with him after he sweats a while,
you’ll change your answer.>>Brad Meltzer:
She gets the one. She’s going to get it.>>Chris Eliopoulos: So let’s
do his nose right in the middle, backwards C. Good, yeah! Now his eyes, let’s
give a couple dots. Boop, boop!>>Brad Meltzer: I’m listening
for sound effects, people.>>Chris Eliopoulos: I
know, we’re counting on you. [Audience sound effects]
Okay, eyebrows! Boop, boop! Love it!>>Brad Meltzer: Dave…>>Chris Eliopoulos: Now
let’s give him a smile.>>Brad Meltzer: Sound effects. Thank you. Thank you, Jamie.>>Chris Eliopoulos: And then
let’s give him some glasses, they’re just rectangles.>>Brad Meltzer: Oh wait,
that looks exactly like me.>>Chris Eliopoulos:
Yeah, it’s looking good. And then a rectangle
on the other side. Woo, woo, woo, woo. And then, of course — Jody, you better be drawing,
I’m watching you. Okay. Two lines, boop boop. Now comes Brad’s favorite,
the real Brad’s favorite part, we’re going to give him hair. It’s just simple, little lines.>>Brad Meltzer: I think
keep him like that.>>Chris Eliopoulos: Just
a little random hair.>>Brad Meltzer:
Notice, by the way, they didn’t give
me a lot of hair. I just want to be clear.>>Chris Eliopoulos:
No, we didn’t. But what we did give
him was a cape. So we’re going to draw
a little cape on him because he’s a superhero. Is he Bike Man or Brad Man? What did we decide? He’s both, right? Brad Man? Alright, I want to
see a little loop underneath. And then a loop down. I like how my kids are
sitting and drawing, I finally got them to draw. And a straight line down. And another straight line down. And then sign your name. [Ripping sound] Let’s
give the one with the nose joke…a
little thing. So now that you can all draw, give yourselves a
round of applause. [ Applause & Cheering ]>>Brad Meltzer: So
here is the part, again, we are so excited for,
we’ve been working on this show for five years. I know that Chris is our secret
weapon, I love that 9 Story did such a beautiful job taking
Chris’s art and turn it into what you’re about
to see, so are you ready to see the first view
of Xavier Riddle?>>Audience: Yeah!>>Brad Meltzer: Okay, here we
go, this is it, you’re going to see — it’s one episode,
always has two heroes, and we’re going to come up
after and do some questions, so think of some good ones,
but, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Library of
Congress and the premier of Xavier Riddle and
the Secret Museum. [Cheering]>>Xavier: Ready for adventure?>>Brad: [Singing] Who’s that
kid who can travel through time?>>Xavier: Xavier Riddle
and the Secret Museum!>>Yadina: Which great
heroes will we find?>>Xavier: Xavier Riddle
and the Secret Museum!>>Brad:Every single
boy and girl>>Yadina: Has what
it takes to…>>All: Change the world! Xavier Riddle and
the Secret Museum!>>Brad: Brad!>>Yadina: And Yadina!>>All: And the Secret Museum! Xavier Riddle and
the Secret Museum.>>Xavier: Xavier Riddle
and the Secret Museum! Shh!>>Yadina: Hello and
welcome to the show! Today we’re going to meet
someone very special. Helen Keller!>>Xavier: Helen was
born in the year 1880.>>Yadina: And one thing was
a little different about her. She couldn’t see
or hear anything!>>Brad: Um, isn’t that
two things, Yadina?>>Yadina: Okay, maybe
that is two things, but can you imagine
not being able to see or hear anything at all? Let’s try it! Close your eyes,
and cover your ears. You too, Dr. Zoom! In fact, can we turn off the
picture and the sound, please? [Shutting down sound] [Turning
on sound] Welcome back! Can you imagine living
like that everyday? But not being able to see or
hear didn’t stop Helen Keller from learning how
to read and write! Want to know how? Then let’s start the show! The black dog…um…pa,
pa, pa [sigh].>>Xavier: Yadina, what’s wrong?>>Yadina: I’m trying
to read this book to Dr. Zoom, but it’s too hard!>>Brad: Why not read
her a picture book?>>Yadina: We read them all! I want to move up and
take the next step, read a big book like you guys!>>Xavier: Ahh!>>Yadina: But big books
have so many words! I know some of them,
like dog and black, but there are 1 million, 578
other ones I can’t figure out! It’s so frustrating!>>Brad: This sounds
like a big problem.>>Xavier: And that means… [Background Music]
to the secret museum!>>Shhh!>>Xavier: Sorry. [Whispering] To the
secret museum! [ Music ] I wonder who the secret
museum will send us to meet!>>Yadina: Or where we’ll go?>>Brad: [Clock ticking]
And when? [Cuckoo bird] Woah!>>Yadina: Look out below!>>Xavier: Hi Berby!>>Yadina: Hi Berby!>>Berby: Hello!>>Brad: Hi Berby! [ Music & Sound Effects ]>>Xavier: We’re
getting something!>>Brad: A book! With no words?>>Yadina: It’s bumpy! Who wants a bumpy
book with no words?>>Xavier: Helen Keller! This was hers!>>Yadina: Look! That’s where we’re going
to meet her, in America!>>Brad: In 1887! That’s over 100 years ago!>>Yadina: Hmmm, I wonder if she
can help me read a big kid book!>>Xavier: Only one
way to find out! Ready for an adventure?>>Yadina: Ready!>>Brad: [Sigh] Ready. [Berby computer sounds]>>Yadina: Here we go! [Zapping sounds]>>Brad: It’s happening!>>Yadina: Hang on Dr. Zoom! Woohoo! [ Music ]>>Xavier: Ahh, so this is
Alabama in the year 1887.>>Yadina: I like it. Cute house! [Grumbling sounds]>>Brad: What’s that sound?>>Yadina: That girl
looks upset! I wonder what’s wrong?>>Brad: I don’t think
that’s just any girl.>>Xavier: That’s Helen Keller! Thanks Berby!>>Ann: Helen, it’s okay. I’m here. Helen is
just frustrated. She’s trying to get her
dog to come play with her.>>Yadina: Aww, she’s cute. Can we pet her?>>Ann: Yes, she’s friendly! Her name is Belle. And I’m Ann. Here, Belle! [Dog whimpering] Do
you like dogs too?>>Yadina: We love dogs!>>Brad: If they don’t jump
on me or slobber on me. Or pretty much anything on me. Oomph. [Giggling]>>Ann: Don’t worry, Belle’s
a very good dog [dog panting].>>Yadina: Then how
come she didn’t go to Helen to play with her?>>Ann: Because Helen
doesn’t have the words yet to be able to call her. Helen is blind, which
means she can’t see Belle in order to go to her. She’s also deaf, which
means she can’t hear. Not being able to hear words
makes it hard to speak them. And without words, Belle doesn’t
understand what Helen wants. In fact, most people don’t
understand her either.>>Brad: Wow. Helen can’t see or hear…>>Xavier: Or talk to anyone?>>Yadina: If I couldn’t talk
to Dr. Zoom it would be so sad!>>Ann: It’s very hard for her. That’s why I’m trying to
teach Helen a different way to hear and speak. So people know what she
needs or wants to say.>>Yadina: How do you do that?>>Ann: Using sign language. Like this. Each sign I make with my hand
stands for a different letter. Since Helen can’t see them,
I make the signs directly into her hand, so
she can feel them. This is how I say hello! [Speaking slowly] Hello. [Helen grunting]>>Xavier: She didn’t
say hello back.>>Ann: No. She hasn’t learned what
these signs mean yet. But there are so many different
ways to learn something. If I keep trying, I’m sure
I will find the right way for Helen to learn.>>Brad: [Dog licking]
[Brad gasping] Ohhhh…>>Yadina: Belle
likes you, Brad!>>Brad: Great. I think I’ll go wash
my hands inside.>>Xavier: Hold up, Brad! Amazing fact, houses didn’t
have running water in 1887, they used, uh, outdoor
water pumps.>>Brad: Umm, how does
the water come out?>>Yadina: How is Helen
going to help me read if she doesn’t know how to read?>>Xavier: I don’t know,
Yadina, but there has to be a reason the secret
museum sent us to meet her.>>Ann: Here you go, Helen. [Speaking slowly] Water. [Helen grunting]
There must be a way to help Helen learn
what these words are.>>Brad: [Giggling]
[Water sounds] Oh, so that’s how it works! [Giggling] [Belle barking]>>Ann: [Gasping]
I have an idea! [ Music & Footsteps ] [ Water Sounds ] [Speaking slowly] Water. [Water sounds] [Helen
gasping] Yes, yes! Water! She understands!>>Yadina: Wow.>>Brad: Incredible!>>Ann: Now that I know
how to teach Helen, there’s so much she can learn!>>Yadina: Do you really think
there’s more Helen can learn?>>Xavier: Looks like
we’re about to find out! [Berby computer sounds]>>Brad: A bush…of course.>>Yadina: Look, there’s Helen! What is she doing?>>Ann: She’s reading!>>Xavier: Really? But how? She can’t
see the words!>>Ann: No, but she can feel
them when they’re written in something called Braille. You want to see?>>Brad: It’s bumpy.>>Yadina: How does it work?>>Ann: Each of these
bumpy patterns is a letter, which make up words, so Helen
can read stories by touch. She’s reading one
now about pirates.>>Yadina: Being able
to read a story all by yourself must
be really great! Look, Helen’s saying something! [Music]>>Ann: Now she says she
wants to learn something else. How to talk!>>Yadina: Can she
really learn how to talk?>>Ann: Mmhmm. We’ll just have to come up with
a different way to teach her.>>Yadina: I wonder
what that could be?>>Xavier: Looks like
we’re about to find out!>>Yadina: Look, Helen! Covering someone’s mouth
when she’s talking? Not very polite.>>Ann: [Laughing] Well Helen is
working with a special teacher who can help her feel what
words sound like, how the mouth and tongue move with
each sound spoken.>>Xavier: You can
[mumbling] feel words? Ow! [Laughter]>>Yadina: I guess Helen can! Look!>>Helen: [Random noises] Uh,
beh, l, beh l, beh l. Belle! [Belle whimpering] Belle! Belle.>>Yadina: Wow, Helen
learned to do so many things! She just did it in
a different way. So maybe there’s a way for me to
learn how to read that dog book!>>Xavier: Definitely! Ready to go home?>>Yadina: I’m ready,
let’s go home! [Berby computer sounds]>>Black dog, uh [sigh], I
don’t know the next word.>>Xavier: How did you read
the words black and dog?>>Yadina: There’s a picture. It helped me figure out
what those words were!>>Brad: What if you
had more pictures? I’d be happy to draw
them for you.>>Yadina: Okay!>>Brad: Black dog, and, okay, I’m going to do that
there, and done! Tada! What do you see?>>Yadina: There’s
the black dog.>>Xavier: What’s
the dog putting on?>>Yadina: Red boots. Hey! The words red and
boots are here in the book! Red starts with an R and
boots starts with a B.>>Xavier: Yes! Now what’s the dog doing?>>Yadina: Um, dancing. Hey, the word dancing
is in the book too!>>Xavier: Nice!>>Yadina: The black dog…>>Xavier: Puts on his…>>Yadina: Big, red boots.>>Xavier: Keep going!>>Yadina: The black dog…is
dancing in his big, red boots! I did it! I read it by myself!>>Shh!>>Yadina: [Whispering]
Woops, sorry! Can you believe it? I read the whole
book to Dr. Zoom. She loved it! And it was all thanks
to meeting Helen Keller who didn’t let anything
stop her from learning.>>Brad: Once her teacher,
Ann, found the best way for her to learn, Helen didn’t just
learn to read and talk…>>Xavier: She learned
lots of different languages and wrote a ton of books.>>Yadina: Thanks for
joining our awesome adventure to meet Helen Keller, who used to be a kid just
like you and me!>>Xavier: So kids like
you can change the world! I am Xavier.>>Brad: I am Brad!>>Yadina: I am Yadina, and I know there are many
different ways to learn, just like Helen Keller!>>Xavier: Woohoo! I love playing outside!>>Yadina: With the
sun and the trees…>>Brad: And butterflies
and flowers that make me…ah,
ah, ahhhh choo!>>Xavier: Today, we’re
meeting someone who loves being out in nature too,
George Washington Carver.>>Yadina: He was
born in America, way back in the year 1864.>>Brad: He was an inventor,
a painter, and a musician! But most people know
him as a botanist.>>Xavier: That’s a
scientist who studies plants.>>Yadina: Dr. Zoom
loves plants, especially lettuce,
grass, and spinach.>>Brad: Ahhhh choo! Let’s start the….ah,
ah, ahhhhh [sigh] show.>>Yadina: Here comes superstar,
Yadina, no one can stop her!>>Brad: I’m open, I’m open! [Kicking sound] [Brad
gasping] I’m not open!>>Yadina: Goal! Yes!>>Xavier: Nice trick
shot, Brad. Did not see that coming.>>Yadina: Oh no!>>Xavier: Yadina, are you okay?>>Brad: What’s wrong?>>Yadina: This poor,
little flower. The ball landed right
on top of it.>>Brad: Ah, ah, ah choo! Oh, still has its flower power.>>Xavier: Then I guess it’s
okay, come on, back to the game!>>Yadina: Xavier, we can’t
just leave it like this, we need to do something!>>Xavier: But there are so
many other plants out here, why is this one special?>>Yadina: Because it needs
our help, big brother, please?>>Xavier: Hmmm, well I don’t
know how to help flowers, but I do know how to find out.>>All: To the secret museum!>>Brad: Allergies
and time travel? This is not my day. [ Music ]>>Xavier: I wonder who the
secret museum will send us to meet?>>Yadina: And where we’ll go?>>Brad: And when? Woah!>>Yadina: Look out below!>>Xavier: Woohoo! Hi Berby!>>Yadina: Hi Berby!>>Berby: Hello.>>Brad: Hi Berby! [ Music & Sound Effects ]>>Xavier: We’re
getting something!>>Yadina: A flower! [Sniffing]>>Brad: I wonder
who it belonged to?>>Xavier: George
Washington Carver. That’s who we’re going to meet!>>Yadina: Hey! He’s wearing a flower. He must love plants too.>>Brad: We’re meeting him in
Missouri in the United States!>>Xavier: And we’re
going to the year 1870. Wow, that’s like…150
years ago!>>Yadina: I sure hope George
Washington Carver can help our poor, little flower.>>Xavier: Only one
way to find out! Ready for adventure?>>Yadina: Ready!>>Brad: [Sigh] Ready. [ Computer Sounds & Music ]>>Yadina: Here we go!>>Xavier: It’s happening!>>Yadina: Hang on, Dr. Zoom! Woohoo!>>Brad: Woah! [ Music ]>>Xavier: So this
is Missouri in 1870.>>Yadina: Smells…>>Brad: Ah choo! Sneezy. That’s because we…>>Yadina: …landed
in a garden! Oh no! We came here
to fix one flower, but we wrecked three more! What are we going to do?>>George: Don’t worry,
the plant doctor is in!>>Brad: Plant doctor?>>Xavier: Wait a minute,
isn’t that…it’s him, George Washington Carver! [Berby beeping]>>George: People call
me the plant doctor because I’m always
helping plants. It’s important to take care
of the earth, you know?>>Yadina: Well these plants
definitely need taking care of.>>Brad: We kind
of stepped on them.>>George: Mmhmm, we’ll need
to get these plants to my… [whispering] secret garden.>>Yadina: [All three gasping]
You have a secret garden? Does it take you back in time?>>George: Uh, no? Oh, we can carry
our plants in these.>>Xavier: Should we
just buy flower pots?>>George: Reusing
stuff is another way of taking care of the earth! [ Music & Humming ]>>Yadina: Aww, our
plant looks so cute!>>George: They can’t
stay here for long, we need to get them planted
in my garden right away.>>Yadina: Okay! To the…>>All: [Whispering]
Secret garden! [Laughter] So, how come
you have a secret garden?>>George: It’s where I
take care of my plants. My pets.>>Yadina: Ahhhh.>>Brad: Your plants
are your pets?>>Xavier: Like cats and dogs?>>Yadina: We are
taking these for a walk!>>George: Not pets
like cats and dogs, but I do take care
of them like a pet. They need lots of food,
water, and sunshine.>>Yadina: A plant
pet would be so fun. They’re nice to look at and Dr.
Zoom loves smelling flowers. [ Music ]>>Brad: Oof! That kinda hurt. Plants just give me the sneezes. Oh, a butterfly! Now there’s something I love.>>George: And butterflies
love plants. They drink from flowers!>>Brad: Hmm, I never
thought about it that way. Whatever’s good for
butterflies is good with me! So I guess love plants too! Ah ah ah choo…from
a safe distance.>>Yadina: What about
you, Xavier? Do you think plants are awesome?>>Xavier: I don’t know, they’re
nice to look at and smell and everything, but they
don’t really do much for me.>>George: Well,
do you like books?>>Xavier: I love books!>>George: [Flipping pages]
The paper comes from plants!>>Xavier: I love soccer.>>George: The ball
is made from rubber and rubber comes from plants! I bet you like breathing air! [Deep inhale and
exhale] Thanks, plants!>>Xavier: Plants make air?>>George: That’s
right, they make and clean the air we breathe! Peanut butter sandwich?>>Xavier: Yes, please!>>George: Bread,
jam, peanuts…plants!>>Xavier: Woah! I guess plants are
pretty awesome.>>George: Mmhmm. And since plants and the
earth do so much for us, it’s important to
take care of them. Come on, we’re almost there!>>Xavier: [Chewing
sounds] This is good! Wait up guys!>>George: Uh oh, my secret
garden is across this field, just passed these
kids playing soccer.>>Yadina: How will
we get across?>>Brad: Guess we’ll just have
to go around the long way.>>George: There’s no time! These plants need to
get out of the heat and in the ground
as soon as possible.>>Xavier: I’ve got this. Say hello to your
new plant bodyguard. Let’s move.>>Brad: Are you sure the
long way isn’t an option? [ Music ]>>Yadina: Phew, yay Xavier!>>Brad: Please don’t hit me, please don’t hit me,
please don’t hit me!>>George: We’re almost there! [ Music ]>>Xavier: [Gasping] Look out! [ Cheering ]>>All: Yay, Xavier!>>Xavier: I did
it for the plants. Let’s go!>>George: We’re here.>>Yadina: Wow!>>Brad: Woah!>>All: The secret garden!>>George: You can
put those down here. We brought you some new friends. [Humming] Some water,
food, and lots of sunshine! I think you’ll get
along just fine.>>Yadina: Wow, you really
are the plant doctor! Thanks for saving these flowers.>>George: It’s important
to take care of the earth.>>Xavier: You’re totally right! [Gasping] We better get back
home and take care of our plant!>>Brad: Bye bye, George!>>Xavier: And thank you!>>Yadina: Bye, George! Love your secret garden.>>George: Bye! [Humming]>>Xavier: Berby, let’s go home, we’ve got a plant
to take care of. [Berby beeping and music]>>Yadina: There, hope you’ll
like your new sunny home.>>Brad: Ah, ah, ah choo! Here’s some water and food
to help you get better!>>Xavier: Here, dad was
about to throw this out, but we can reuse it to
keep the flower safe. It may just be one flower, but
if everyone helped one plant, we’d all be taking
care of the earth.>>Yadina: That’s what I said! [Giggling] Okay,
back to our game! Woohoo!>>Brad: Let’s go! I bet I’ll score first! [ Music & Berby beeping ]>>Yadina: Our little
flower is doing great. Thanks to everything we
learned from the plant doctor.>>Xavier: George Washington
Carver spent his whole life learning about plants and how
to take care of the earth.>>Brad: He showed farmers
how to reuse things and how to grow fruits and
vegetables to stay healthy.>>Yadina: So he taught
people how to take care of the earth and themselves!>>Xavier: Thanks for
joining our awesome adventure to meet George Wasington Carver.>>Brad: He used to be a
kid, just like you and me.>>Yadina: So kids like
you can change the world! I am Yadina.>>Brad: I am Brad.>>Xavier: I am Xavier,
and I will always take care of the earth, just like
George Washington Carver. [ Music ] [ Cheering & Applause ]>>Brad Meltzer: So
what’d you think? [Cheering] Okay, that’s all. So, obviously, what
you see there, that’s exactly what every
episode, there’s a problem, they’re being bullied maybe
in an episode, they go back in time, maybe Rosa Parks,
Rosa Parks helps them deal with the bully, teaches them
a lesson, they come back to the present and they
deal with that lesson. And you’ll see every episode
has two different heroes. And what we love
about this is we get to share those lessons,
is that Berby? Oh, Berby, we love Berby. By the way, doesn’t Berby
sound like BBA or R2D2? Unless you’re a lawyer
from Lucas Films, in which case he sounds
nothing like BBA or R2D2. So what we promised we’d do now,
very quickly, because we want to sign books, we want
to make sure we get to meet all your kids, is
to answer any questions. If you have a question,
raise your hand, we will answer questions. I see, okay, yes,
what’s your question? In the white? Yep. Shout it out. [Inaudible background
question] How many what? I think — yell it again.>>How much teamwork
did it take?>>Brad Meltzer: How
much did it take? None! It was really all me. It was — I just did,
no, teamwork is — that is the right word, that is,
what you’re seeing there is — starts with an idea and a
blank page, and then it takes, obviously, the people at PBS who are helping us basically
every time make it better and better and better,
Chris and a team of artists who are drawing, Chris starts
drawing the hero first, then they copy what he does
and then they reproduce it. It takes 9 Story, animation,
a whole team, we have Megan and Corey, our director. Megan’s a story editor. She’s an amazing writer. She has a team of
writers with her. And what she does is —
they also then, Jen Bradley, our amazing producer, finds
an expert who, for instance in the deaf and blind community,
could help us with Helen Keller. If we’re doing Rosa
Parks or Jackie Robinson, finding a Jackie
Robinson expert. Each time always finding…>>Chris Eliopoulos:
Somebody in the back, is there a child all
the way in the back?>>Brad Meltzer: She’s going
to bring it back there. Each time, she found — she
found one of the last survivors who spoke, Soshani
[assumed spelling] for the Sacajawea episode,
which is amazing because we want to make sure we bring
a sensitivity to every single character we do. So it takes all teamwork
to make the dream work. You know how it goes. Yes, what do you got, bud? [ Inaudible Audience Question ] Who’s my favorite
character of the books? Okay, so the question is, who’s
favorite character in the book? My — my favorite that Chris
has drawn in the books…. [laughter] blah, blah,
blah, I know, I know, it’s so true, it’s so true. Accurate — accurate. Look, now what everyone
wants now, right? Okay, put your hand down. Matt should put his
hand down, that’s right. My favorite one is I
love Abraham Lincoln, I Am Abraham Lincoln. I love Helen Keller. I love Helen Keller,
that’s why we asked you guys to see Helen Keller tonight. My other favorite one is I
love Jim Hensen, it’s my heart and my soul in book form. [Applause] Okay,
we got one there? Okay, we got a microphone, yes?>>Can you make I
Am [inaudible]?>>Brad Meltzer: Can I make who?>>He said can you make
[inaudible] Christiansen? Who is that?>>Brad Meltzer: Who’s that? What I like — that’s
the first, by the way, that is a question you heard. Most kids, they bring to all of our book signings
a demand letter, they are little terrorists. Right? They literally tell us, you make this person…so
tell me who they are.>>The guy who created Lego?>>Brad Meltzer: Oh,
I like that one, yeah! Yes! But you know
what, repeat after me, give him the microphone, repeat
after me, say, I will not get…>>I will not get…>>Brad Meltzer:
Any royalties…>>Any royalties [laughter]>>That’s a great idea, yeah,
that’s it, that’s a contract. Okay, yes, back there, yes?>>How do you draw so good?>>Chris Eliopoulos:
Practice, practice, practice.>>How do you draw so good?>>Brad Meltzer: How
do you draw so good. Chris, tell them how
you do it, Chris.>>Chris Eliopoulos:
Practice, practice, practice.>>Brad Meltzer: It is
practice, it is true.>>Chris Eliopoulos:
There’s Jim Hensen. Who wants Jim Hensen? Somebody — wait, are there
people outside of this room? Alright, let’s get something to
somebody that got stuck outside.>>Brad Meltzer: You guys are — the overflow, Chris
is showing love to the overflow room,
I love that. Okay, who has a question? Who has the microphone? Right there, go ahead.>>Make Abraham Lincoln.>>Brad Meltzer: That’s
right, make it, there it is, the terrorist, make
Abraham Lincoln. Right? They tell you — they tell you, like,
draw, monkey, draw. [Laughter] That’s
the way it goes.>>Question up here.>>Chris Eliopoulos:
My pen is running out.>>Brad Meltzer: The
question is, what — where are the antennas? What are the antennas for? And the antennas you’ll see in
Xavier’s costume is when he goes to a place where they don’t
speak English, and we have to go to Germany and meet
Albert Einstein, how does he understand him? So he turns the dial
on his costume and now he can understand what
Albert Einstein is saying. Also, it is how we sell
Halloween costumes. That is how. Yes, go ahead? [ Inaudible Audience Question ] The question is, is how long
does it take to make a book? So it takes me close to a month
to write it, it takes Chris…>>Chris Eliopoulos: Liar. Liar! Liar! It takes him a week!>>Brad Meltzer: No, no,
and then I got to edit it, and then I got to
rewrite because — and then Chris has to draw it. And then I have to tell
him what to redraw just to make him work harder. And then the editor’s take
it and then it comes back, it takes basically, what
do you think it takes, about two months? Like start — everything?>>Chris Eliopoulos: Yeah,
two and a half, three months, depending on how many times
he makes me redraw every page.>>Brad Meltzer: You got
a microphone up there or who has a microphone? Way back, yes, if you can hear. Way, way back, the last row, we got to show love
to the last row. Not to the front row,
they’ve got good seats. Very corner.>>Why won’t you make
a Trevor Noah book? [Laughter]>>Brad Meltzer: A
Trevor Noah book. I like that. I like that. Again, that wasn’t a question. That was a demand, it was
phrased as a question. Yes, go ahead, bud?>>Do you ever put
ponies in your book?>>Brad Meltzer: Yes! So let me tell you a
great story [laughing]. Thank you for that. Okay, this is a great story. So this is true. Shhh. This is true. This is true. So, when we — when we did the
very first one of Xavier Riddle, they put us in a room where we
watched your kids actually watch the show. It was a focus group and we
were behind a one-way mirror, and we could see them
but they couldn’t see us. And they brought in cute,
adorable kids, like bowtie here, and basically we watched this
girl, the very first one, we had — the producers came
in from Canada, a 9 Story, I flew in, what you got? Is this the pony? This is awesome. Yes! This is — this is kind
of what — by the way, you win. This kid has to get a drawing. This is going to go
perfect with the story. And what happens is
is the first person to watch it is this little girl,
and here we got the president of PBS, I’ve flown
in to go watch it, everyone from Canada’s
come in, we’re all there with the PBS people to see
the greatest show ever made, Xavier Riddle, here’s our
pilot episode, the first one, we experimented with
the show, it’s different than what you saw,
and the first person who watched it is this little
7-year-old girl, and they say to her, tell us about the show,
do you like it a little bit? A lot? Or not at all? And she says, in that
moment, not at all. And I’m crestfallen, five
years of my life in the toilet, right, and we’re like, what? And she goes — they say, why? Why? And she says, well, the
show that I love has ponies in it and there are no
ponies in this show. And the ponies that I love have
little stickers on their butts and there’s no stickers on
the butts in this pony show. And so everytime we —
when we edit the show now, anytime there’s a
part we don’t like, we always say, needs
more ponies. Need more ponies
[laughter & applause]. It’s true. We need more ponies. So, yes, it says, Brad and
Chris, we need more ponies! Thank you, that is awesome. Okay, you got one over there? I think like two more questions. Okay, go ahead, whoever you got. [Pause] You got a question? Okay. Here we go. Shhh, we got to hear a question, we got an important
question here.>>He’s a great artist!>>Brad Meltzer: He’s a
great artist, great question. Great question. The question is, why
are you so awesome? Okay, go ahead, we got two more. Yep, you got it.>>What’s your daughter’s
favorite character?>>Brad Meltzer: That
is a good question. What’s my dog? Oh, my daughter’s, I
thought you said my dog. I was like, don’t tell
my daughter I said that. Oh, my daughter’s
favorite character. So my daughter, to describe
her to you, once said to me in a book signing, why do these
people want your autograph? So, her favorite
character, though, is she loves Jane Goodall because she loves
the animals in it. That’s the one. And it’s dedicated, by the way,
let me tell you another story. You don’t even know, there
are heroes in this room. I’m going to tell you this one. This is a good one to
embarrass someone in this room. So my history teacher asked me
one time, I dedicated a book to her, and my history
teacher said, thank you for dedicating the
book to me, but what she said to me is, amazing story,
is she said, we went back by email a couple times, and this is my 11th
grade history teacher. And she said, Brad, I
have a question for you. She said, I’m actually
really sick, I’m dying, and I need a kidney. I love how I’m telling a
story about my dying teacher and you guys are
like I want the piece of paper with the art on it. I just hope you’re all happy. This is the children you raise. And so what happens
is, is she says, can you help me get a new
kidney to save my life? So I went onto our Facebook page
and on Twitter and on Instagram and I said, if you
donate a kidney, you’ll save my history teacher’s
life, will you donate a kidney? And this amazing woman named Amy
Waggs [assumed spelling] donated her own kidney, gave
a body part, to save my history teacher. And Amy is here tonight. So, let’s hear it for Amy! [Applause] Come on, stand it up. Stand it up. Stand up, stand up. That’s it. [ Applause ] So if you want to get to
the front of the line, or a good seat, you
donate a body part. If not, we’ve got
nothing for you. Okay, one last question. Yes, right there,
you got it, last one.>>Let’s bring on
another insult to Chris.>>Brad Meltzer: Wow.>>Chris Eliopoulos: Wow.>>Brad Meltzer: That
just insults Chris. Very nice. Right. You’re one
of his children, that’s one of his children. Okay, one more question. Yeah, you’ve got a
real question there? Yes? Who has one. Right there.>>Which book was
the most challenging?>>Brad Meltzer: Nice question. Okay, so good last question. So, we’re going to
end with this. Is which book is the
most challenging? And the truth is they’re all — they all bring on kind of
different things, right? You’re trying to figure out,
how do you do Helen Keller? How do you do Walt Disney? Right? How do you tell the
stories of these amazing people? I think one of the most
challenging ones is actually the one that’s coming. And I’ll use this
for a moment just to tell you what’s coming up. And it’s — we did
Leonardo DaVinci, and how do you show the
greatest artist ever and have Chris replicate that? Right? [Laughter] That’s
a two-fer, by the way, that’s the insult to Chris and
the answer to your question. So, what you’ll see when
you see Leonardo DaVinci, what’d you draw? Xavier. So when you
see him on the picture, you’ll see that we put
real artwork in there. Now, you guys want to
know who the next hero is?>>Audience: Yes!>>Brad Meltzer: Okay,
so here’s the thing. This is true. Do not tweak this out. Do not put this part
on Facebook. I’m not supposed to tell you
at all that the next hero after that is Benjamin Franklin. I’m not supposed to tell
you that at all, right? It is not supposed to be —
if my editor or agent says, did Brad say who’s
in the next book? No, I do not know who it is. I do not know it’s Benjamin
Franklin you tell them. Don’t tell them. Seriously, don’t tell anyone. We’re going to announce
it, act surprised. With that said, I’m
going to introduce, are you going to take it away? Let’s hear it —
our favorite people! So, Roswell from the Library
of Congress is going to –>>Roswell: I want to
thank Brad and Chris, could you please give
them a round of applause? [Applause] They’ve been so
generous with their time and their drawings, so we
have a surprise for them. So this kind of — Brad
kind of teed it up earlier because he says he didn’t
want to be like the character from National Treasure and steal
one of those items outside, so we decided to give
them both a surprise. I’m going to call my colleague,
Adam Silvia, from our prints and photographs division.>>Brad Meltzer: Oh boy, they’re
giving us the Declaration of Independence. They totally are.>>Roswell: I’ll bring
Adam here to the middle.>>Adam: Can you hold that? [Background noises] Brad
and Chris, thank you so much for being with us here tonight. Thank you for creating
this amazing show and this amazing series of
books providing young readers with real-world heroes. As a token of thanks, the
Library of Congress would like to give you a copy of
something from our collections. Something that speaks to
your own real-world heroes. And so, Brad, on multiple
occasions tonight, you had mentioned that
you look up to Jim Hensen and his beloved muppets. In your book, I Am Jim Hensen,
you talk about his creativity, his imagination, but, above all,
his kindness to other people. So, 30 years ago, Jim Hensen
came right here to Capitol Hill and joined members of
Congress in advocating for children’s safety. And this event was documented by
our local newspaper, Roll Call, which is archived here at
the Library of Congress, and we’d like to give you a copy
of the original contact sheet and a print made from the
original film negative of that event.>>Brad Meltzer: Thank you,
oh my god, this is awesome. [ Applause ]>>Adam: And, Chris, your
illustrations have brought to life so many real-world
heroes for young readers, and so we did a little
research, we learned that one of the people who inspired
you most was Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown,
Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang. So we found from Look [phonetic]
magazine an original contact sheet and photograph of Charles
Schultz at home at his desk hard at work on an original
comic strip for Peanuts.>>Chris Eliopoulos: Oh
my god, this is crazy. Thank you so much. I really appreciate this. [ Applause ]>>Brad Meltzer: So, one
last favor, first of all, let’s hear it for the
Library of Congress. Everyone, thank you! [ Applause ] We have one favor. We do this at every event, but
it is so meaningful for us here. We need to take a
picture with you. Now in your thing, there should
be — there’s a book, right? You have a book? I want you to hold up your book. Now this is going to be the
crazy part, now, on the side, this is going to be hard, I want to see everyone
squeeze together. Okay, we’re going to
take a picture together. So just hold it up in the air. That is so nice, thank you. Okay, ready? So Chris and I — this is
going to be the best selfie at the Library of
Congress, here we go. Ready? Everyone,
you better smile because you’re going
to be on camera here. Ready? Okay, ready. You are not smiling,
hold your book up! Here we go, ready,
everybody in there, 1, 2, 3! Okay, ready, one more, I’m going
to make sure I get everyone. Ready, 1, 2, 3.>>Audience: Cheese!>>Brad Meltzer: I
already took the picture. Thank you, thank you,
thank you for being here. Thank you for joining us. We’re signing outside and thanks
to everyone at 9 Story, PBS.>>Roswell: Thank you, PBS! Thank you so much! Watch the show, Monday,
remember? Go upstairs to our Great Hall and we have a wonderful
reception for you courtesy of PBS, plus get a
picture with Clifford and the rest of the gang. Thank you Brad and Chris!

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