Wednesday, June 10, 2009

BookExpo America 2009 (part 2)

I was actually a little worried about seeing Julie Andrews, because, you know, what if she wasn't practically perfect in every way like Mary Poppins? I needn't have worried. She was. She was the emcee for the event, so she spoke first and then introduced the others. She opened with some jokes about the early hour (8:00 AM), saying "Wouldn't it have been lovely if this had been a pajama party, and we could have all just rolled out of bed to come? I feel almost as if I did." After talking a bit about her writing, especially the book she most recently co-wrote with her daughter, Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies (available in October), she introduced a surprise guest: Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary)! He sang "Day Is Done" (to usher in the day), and encouraged us to sing along, scolding us for singing "meekly."
Meg Cabot spoke next. She showed old family photos ("Doesn't it look like I was raised by the Mod Squad?! Seriously.") and spoke about when she first met Julie Andrews, at the premiere for the Princess Diaries movie, and how nervous she was even though "of course she's totally adorable in person!" She also shared her three rules to live by:
1. Never pass a bathroom without going in, because you never know when you'll find another one.
2. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
3. Never give up.

Up next was Tomie DePaola. It's a novel experience for me to have heard someone famous speak on more than one occasion, and this was my third time hearing Tomie, so I took some satisfaction from the fact that he told a story I'd heard him tell before: When he was little he said, "When I grow up, I'm going to draw pictures for books and tap-dance on stage." He has, in fact, been paid for both. He also shared a story about when his alma mater gave him an honorary doctorate in art. Judy Collins was there, and before she did anything else, she said, "All right! I'm going to get this out of the way!" and sang--mesmerizing everyone. "So," Tomie said, "I'm just going to get this out of the way," and he broke into "The hills are alive with the sound of music!"

Amy Krouse Rosenthal began by showing us this video, which is worth watching if you have a few minutes. She organized her presentation as a Q&A, because, she said, she always had a million questions growing up. One of her questions (at the breakfast, not as a child) was, "Can you believe we're all here with JULIE ANDREWS?!" At which point she brought out a favorite from her music box collection. Setting it on the podium, she bent the microphone down so we could all hear it play "Chim Chimeny" from Mary Poppins. Amy seemed like a very interesting person. She loves words and wordplay--she's probably excellent at Scrabble--and then there's that video.

Part Three coming soon...

1 comment:

Julia Denos said...

This is great to have an Alphabet Garden report on the BEA! and to have seen Mary Poppins! Aside from getting soggy, sounds like you guys had a great time.