Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: National Book Festival Presents Brad Meltzer

(0)
Difficulty: 0

>> [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!

The Description of National Book Festival Presents Brad Meltzer