Transcript: Imprint season 12 episode 11 | Dec 06, 2000

Tina Srebotnjak stands in a studio with pieces of art in red and orange hanging in the background.
She’s in her late thirties, with short chestnut hair and bangs. She’s wearing a caramel blazer over a black shirt.

She says HELLO, I'M TINA
SREBOTNJAK, TOP ON “IMPRINT,”
BOOKS FOR THE YOUNG AND THE
YOUNG AT HEART.

In a clip, a man in his late thirties addresses an auditorium packed with children and families.

In a comical tone of voice, he says
WHERE ARE YOU, ORPHANS.

Tina says MEET LEMONY SNICKET,
HIS BOOKS ARE THE LATEST
CRAZE FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES.

Lemony says ONE OF THE WONDERFUL
THINGS ABOUT THE INVOLVEMENT
IN CHILDREN'S BOOKS IS THAT
YOU NEVER LOVE A BOOK OR --
IT IS SUPER TO MEET PEOPLE
WHO ARE LOVING BOOKS IN THAT WAY.
AND IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO BE
THAT SPACE IN A CHILD'S HEAD.

A clip shows a toddler grabbing a book in a bookstore.

Tina says FIND OUT WHICH
BOOKS ARE MUST-BUYS FOR THE
KIDS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
AND HOW TO MAKE YOUR CHILD A
READER FOR LIFE.
AN ADVICE BOOK FOR PARENTS.

A man in his forties says THEY NEED A CERTAIN
NUMBER OF BOOKS TO START AND
THEIR OWN BOOKS.

A girl around 10 says I HAVE ABOUT 50 BOOKS.

Her mother, in her thirties, says I THINK MORE.
I THINK IT IS CLOSE TO 100.

The girl says I HAVE A HUNDRED BOOKS.
AND I ALMOST READ ALL OF THEM.

Theme music plays as the opening sequence rolls.
Fast clips show books and maps in hues of orange and red.

Then, Tina reappears and says
WATCH OUT, YOU ARE
ABOUT TO MEET LEMONY SNICKET.
“THE GLOBE AND MAIL” CALLS
HIM HARRY POTTER FROM HELL.
IT IS A GOOD REASON.
HIS SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE
EVENTS THREATENS TO LURE
YOUNG READERS AWAY FROM THE
BOY WIZARD AND INTO THE
CLUTCHES OF THREE DARK
ORPHANS.
THEY ARE THE CHILDREN THAT
JUST CAN'T SEEM TO FIND A
HOME.
IT IS BLACK HUMOUR AT ITS
FINEST.
AND IT IS SWEEPING THE LAND
FASTER THAN YOU CAN SAY,
WELL, HARRY POTTER.
“IMPRINT” MET
WITH DANIEL HANDLER.
LEMONY SNICKET'S ALTER EGO.

Fast clips show a venue set for a book signing. Then different children give their opinions.

A girl around 8 says I LIKE HARRY POTTER LEMONY
SNICKET, I REALLY LIKE HIM.

A boy around 7 says REALLY AWESOME, AMAZING.

Two girls around 8 say VERY GOOD BOOK.

A girl around 11 says I REALLY LIKE HOW HARRY
DESCRIBES OTHER KIDS AND HOW
HE MAKES EVERYTHING SO NORMAL.

A book cover appear that reads “A series of unfortunate events, by Lemony Snicket.”

The author gives an interview in a theatre.
A caption reads “Lemony Snicket. A.k.a. Daniel Handler.”
Lemony is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He’s wearing a black suit, white shirt, and red tie.

He says LEMONY SNICKET WAS BORN
IN A SMALL TOWN THAT WAS
UNFORTUNATELY FILLED WITH
SUSPICIOUS AND OCCASIONALLY
VIOLENT PEOPLE AND WAS
FORCED TO LEAVE I WON'T SAY
AT A YOUNG AGE BUT YOUNGER
THAN HE WOULD HAVE LIKED TO
HAVE LEFT.
AND SINCE THAN HE HAS LED A
LIFE THAT HAS BEEN LARGELY
ON THE LAMB BY WHICH I DON'T
MEAN CONSUMING A GREAT DEAL
OF CHEAP MEAT BUT RATHER
THAT HE HAS BEEN ON THE RUN
CONSTANTLY.
AND SO I'M OFTEN --

Addressing an audience of children, he says HOW DID Mr. SNICKET COME
UP WITH THIS BOOK.
ALTHOUGH THERE WERE A NUMBER
OF BOOKS AVAILABLE IN
LIBRARIES AND BOOK STORES
AND SANITARIUMS THAT CONTAINED
HAPPY STORIES FULL OF PEOPLE
DOING WHATEVER IT IS THEY DO
WHEN THEY ARE HAPPY, THAT
THE TALES OF THE BORDELAIR
ORPHANS WERE STORIES THAT
COULD NOT BE FOUND IN BOOK STORES.

In his interview, he says I THINK IT IS SAFEST TO
SAY THAT I AM HIS LITERARY,
LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE.
I REPRESENT Mr. SNICKET IN
ALL MATTERS PERTAINING TO
HIS BOOKS AND HIS LIFE.
FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE WE
COULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE
THE SAME PERSON, FOR
CONVENIENCE.

In the auditorium, he yells ORPHANS?

He continues
SHE CALLED DOWN IN THE
SCRATCHY VOICE, WHERE ARE
YOU ORPHANS.
IN THE KITCHEN.
WE ARE JUST FINISHING DINNER.
YOU HAD BETTER BE SHE SAID.
AND STRODE IN THE KITCHEN.
HE GAZED AT ALL THREE
CHILDREN WITH HIS TINY SHINY EYES.

Three books appear briefly: 1, The bad beginning; 2, The reptile room; 3, the wide window; 4, the miserable mill; and 5, the austere academy.

In his interview, he says MY MOST FERVENT HOPE IS
THAT THERE WOULD BE AUDIENCE
WHATSOEVER FOR BOOKS THAT
HAVE MURDER AND COLD SOUP
AND BLACKMAIL AND ITCHY
SWEATERS AND ALL THE
ATROCITIES OF BOOKS, AND
ORIGINALLY WAS -- HARPER
COLLINS THOUGHT THAT THE
AUDIENCE WOULD BE
TEN-YEAR-OLDS, MAYBE JUST
SIX TEN-YEAR-OLDS AND THAN
TURNS TO MAYBE EIGHT
TEN-YEAR-OLDS AND BEFORE WE
KNEW IT WAS SIX-YEAR-OLDS
HAVING THEM READ TO THEM BY
THEIR PARENTS IF YOU CAN
IMAGINE AND TEN-YEAR-OLDS
READING THEM FOR THEMSELVES
AND THAN OLDER CHILDREN AND
IT BECAME SORT OF A COLLEGE
CULT AUDIENCE.
I WISH I COULD SAY THAT I
DIDN'T MEAN A CULT IN TERMS
OF THAT THEY MET LATE AT
NIGHT AND PERFORMED
UNNATURAL ACTS BUT I
ACTUALLY HEAR THAT IS THE CASE.

A teenage boy says HE WRITES FOR A WAY THAT
IS EPT TAKENING FOR EVERYONE,
NOT JUST KID.

A woman in her thirties says THEY ARE LAUGH OUT LOUD
ON THE SUBWAY FUNNY AND
ANYTHING THAT CAN MAKE YOU
LAUGH OUT LOUD ON THE SUNWAY
I'M A BIG FAN OF.

In his interview, Lemony continues
WELL, I WAS AN
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT TO
FOR A YEAR TO A MAN DYING IN
A HOSPITAL.
AND SO THAT MEANT THAT I WAS
SITTING EVERY DAY AT A DESK
IN FRONT OF AN OFFICE WHICH
WAS EMPTY ANSWERING A PHONE
WHICH WOULD NEVER RING
EXCEPT FOR OCCASIONALLY
SOMEBODY THAT HADN'T HEARD
HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL.
I WOULD ANSWER THE PHONE AND
SAY NO, HE IS IN THE
HOSPITAL.
WOULD HANG UP AND CONTINUE
WORKING ON MY NOVEL.
WHEN I FINISHED I THOUGHT
THAT NOVEL IS A LOT DARKER
THAN WE THOUGHT.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO TELL
YOU, I WAS SITTING IN A ROOM
WITH A DEAD GUY.

A boy around 13 says I LIKE HIS BOOKS BECAUSE
THEY'RE FUNNY AND THEY ARE
STRANGE IN A WAY.

In his interview, he says WELL, I THINK BOYS TEND
TO FALL OFF THE WAGON
READINGWISE MORE THAN GIRLS DO.
I KNOW I CERTAINLY FELL OFF
THE WAGON ABOUT THE TIME
THAT LITTLE HOUSE ON THE
PRAIRIE CAME OUT.
I LOST INTEREST IN PA
BUILDING ANOTHER SHACK,
FIGURING OUT HOW A DOOR
WORKED, THESE THINGS WERE
NOT INTERESTING.
IN FACT, THEY ARE STILL NOT
INTERESTING.
I HAVEN'T THE FAINTEST IDEA
HOW A DOOR WORKS.
SO I TURNED TO BOOKS BY
AGATHA CHRISTIE AND ANDREWS.
AND ANDREWS TEACHES YOU THAT
YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE SEX WITH
SOMEONE WHO IS HOLDING YOU
CAPTIVE.
THESE ARE WONDERFUL MORAL
LESSONS FOR A YOUNG BOY BUT
IN GENERAL I DON'T THINK
THOSE BOOKS WERE
APPROPRIATEMENT THERE WAS
REALLY NOTHING FOR ME AS A
YOUNG PERSON THAT WAS
SPECIFICALLY FOR ME TO READ.
AND SO IT IS GOOD TO SEE
THAT BOYS ARE NOT GETTING
LEFT OUT OF THE LITERARY
GAME ANY MORE.

In the conference, he says WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THE
FIRST VOLUNTEER, YOU WILL
NOT BE PAID.
FIRST -- YES, IF YOU COULD
MAKE A NOISE THAT SOUNDS
LIKE SOMEONE BANGING ON A
POT WITH A WOODEN SPOON
WHILE SINGING A REPETITIVE
SONG YOU HAVE WRITTEN
YOURSELF, GO.

Somebody produces a sound resembling an ambulance siren.

Lemony says EXCELLENT.

The audience applauds.

Lemony says OH, YES.
DON'T BE STINGY WITH
APPLAUSE, IT IS THE ONLY AGO
LA MATION.

In his interview, he says I DON'T THINK IT
WORTHWHILE TO CONDESCENDING
CHILDREN THE SAME AS I DON'T
THINK IT IS WORTHWHILE TO
CONDESCENDING ADULTS.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS ARMED.

At the book signing, dozens of kids line up.

Lemony says TO MEGAN.
AND YOU HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE
EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE.

In his interview, he says ONE OF THE WONDERFUL
THINGS ABOUT BEING INVOLVED
IN CHILDREN'S BOOKS IS THAT
YOU NEVER LOVE A BOOK THE
WAY YOU LOVE A BOOK WHEN ARE
YOU TEN.
AND THAT HAS BEEN SUPER TO
MEET PEOPLE WHO ARE LOVING
BOOKS IT IN THAT WAY.
AND IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO BE
SORT OF IN THAT SPACE IN A
CHILD'S HEAD.

At the signing, he says NICE TO MEET YOU.
WHAT DO YOU THINK.

In his interview, he says I GUESS ONE SHOULD NEVER
UNDERESTIMATE THE PUBLIC
APPETITE FOR VIAL THINGS.
BOTH THE SUCCESS OF THESE
BOOKS AND THE SUCCESS OF
FASCISM HAS PROVEN THAT THIS
SHOULD NEVER BE
UNDERESTIMATED.

Now in the auditorium he plays the accordion and sings
SCRIM, SCRIM AND RUN AWAY.
RUN, RUN, RUN, RUN AWAY OR
DIE, DIE, DIE, RUN, RUN RUN
RUN, RUN OR DIE, DIE, DIE,

The children stomp on the floor as he sings “run” and lie back as he sings “die.”

He continues
DIE, DIE, DIE RUN, RUN, RUN
U RUN, OR DIE, DIE, DIE
DIE DIE RUN RUN
DIE DIE RUN RUN
DIE DIE RUN RUN
RUN DIE RUN DIE RUN
DIE RUN DIE GUY.
YES?

(applause and cheering)

Back in the studio, Tina says A SERIES OF
UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, THE
CONTINUING SERIES OF
ADVENTURES BY LEMONY SNICKET
IS PUBLISHED BY HARPER
COLLINS.

Now an animated book sitting in a playground reveals a clip of a father reading to his daughter, followed by toddlers roaming a bookstore.

Tina says LATER READING FOR LIFE,
ADVICE TO IGNITE A CHILD'S
PASSION FOR LITERATURE.
AND NEXT, A PRIMER ON BOOKS
KIDS CAN SAVOUR OVER THE
HOLIDAYS.
KNOW DOUBT LEMONY SNICKET
WILL BE ONE OF THE HOT
TICKET ITEMS FOR THE HOLIDAY
SEASON AND SO WHAT ARE SOME
OTHER GREAT BOOKS TO GIVE TO
THE KIDS ON YOUR LIST.
HERE TO HELP US WADE THROUGH
THE CROWDS OF SHOPPERS ARE
TWO MOMS, TELEVISION
REPORTER MARY ITO AND
CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWER
PHILIPPA SHEPPARD.
WELCOME.

The guests say THANK YOU.

Tina says MARY, ARE YOU A
LEMONY SNICKET.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Mary Ito. Television Reporter."
Mary is in her early forties, with shoulder-length wavy black hair.

She says I AM, IT HAS MADE MY LIST
BUT I THINK MORE IMPORTANTLY
IT HAS MADE MY 11-YEAR-OLD
SON'S LIST.
HE HAS JUST WADED INTO THE
SERIES AND HE LOVES IT.
AND HE PICKED UP THE FIRST
BOOK AND IT ONLY TOOK HIM I
THINK ABOUT ONE OR TWO
SITTINGS TO GET THROUGH IT.
AND I THINK IT IS BECAUSE,
YOU KNOW, THE PLOT LINES
AREN'T COMPLICATED.
THE AUTHOR THROWS IN
DIFFICULT WORDS BUT THEY ARE
EXPLAINED WITHIN THE CONTEXT
OF THE STORY WHICH IS VERY
CLEVER.
AND I THINK WHAT KIDS REALLY
IDENTIFY WITH IN IT THIS
BOOK IS THAT THE KIDS ARE
THE HEROES.
THEY ARE SMART, THEY ARE
RESOURCEFUL, AND SPIRITED.
AND IT IS THE GROWN-UPS FOR
A CHANGE WHO HAVE NO CLUE
WHAT IS GOING ON OR ARE PURE SMILE.

A says SOUNDS LIKE OUR HOUSE.
NOW PHILIPPA, HE MENTIONED
LEMONY SNICKET THAT IT WAS A
THING THAT HE HAD WRITTEN
TORE BOYS BUT DO GIRLS GET
IT TOO.

The caption changes to "Philippa Sheppard. Children’s Book Reviewer."
Philippa is in her late twenties, with long wavy auburn hair.

She says I THINK SO.
I WAS SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT
BECAUSE IT SEEMS TO ME IT
WOULD HAVE NATURAL APPEAL
FOR GIRLS, ESPECIALLY AS ONE
OF THE ORPHANS IS REALLY THE
MAIN CHARACTER AND SHE IS
FEMALE.

a says SO YOU LIKE IT AS WELL.

s says OH, YEAH, I LOVE THE DARK HUMOUR.

Tina says SO LET'S LOOK AT
SOME THE STUFF YOU HAVE
BROUGHT.
MARY, DO YOU WANT TO START.

Mary says THIS IS THE AGE GROUP, WHAT
8 TO 12 MZ AND EVEN YOUNGER
DEPENDING ON IF THE MOM OR
DAD OR WHO EVER IS READING
THE BOOK.
THIS IS CALLED THE WOLF OF
GUBIO.
AND IT IS BASED ON THE
LEGEND OF St. FRANCIS ASSISI
OF ITALY, ABOUT THE 12th
CENTURY.
THE STORY SURROUNDS A TOWN
IN ITALY AND A HUGE WOLF
THAT IS TERRORIZING THE
CITIZENS.
ONE DAY A GROUP OF ROGUE
STRANGERS COMES TO THE TOWN
AND IN THE GROUP IS THE
St. FRANCIS.
HE IS KNOWN TO HAVE THESE
MAGICAL POWERS AND A GREAT
UNDERSTANDING OF ANIMALS.
SO HE BRAVELY GOES AND
CONFRONTS THIS WOLF AND HE
IS ABLE TO WORK OUT A DEAL
BETWEEN THE CITIZENS AND THE
WOLF FOR PEACE.
AND IT INVOLVES COMPROMISE
ON BOTH SIDES.

a says SOUNDS GREAT.
THE PHILIPPA, YOU HAVE.

s says FOR THIS AGE GROUP I HAVE
A NOSE FOR ADVENTURE.
AND I REALLY LOVED ABOUT
THIS BOOK WAS THE ZANEY CAST
OF TEENAGE CHARACTERS.
OF COURSE, THE NOSE COMES IN,
THAT IS THE DOG WHO HAS AS
HIS LITTLE ALIEN FROM
JUPITER IS IN THE NOSE OF
THE DOG.

a says AS YOU WOULD, PHILIPPA.

s says EXACTLY IT IS A GREAT STORY.
AND THERE ARE FOUR
CHARACTERS THAT TAKE ON
ANTIQUITY SMUGGLERS IN NEW
YORK CITY AND DEFEAT THEM.
SO IT IS REALLY THE
CHARACTERS THAT GRAB ME IN
THE BOOK.

Tina says OKAY, GREAT.
NOW FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE
SLIGHTLY YOUNGER, I GUESS
MARY WHAT IS YOUR NEXT PICK.

Mary shows another book and says WELL, THIS IS
INTERESTING.
THIS BOOK FALLS INTO THAT
CATEGORY OF CELEBRITY
CHILDREN'S AUTHORS.
WE HAVE SEEN A SLEW OF THOSE
IN THE LAST TEN YEARS.
JAMIE LEE CURTIS, BILL COSBY,
JOHN TRAVOLTA, MICHAEL
BOLTON.

Tina says HE WROTE A
CHILDREN'S BOOK.

Mary says YES, HE DID.
IT IS INTERESTING BECAUSE
WHEN I SPOKE TO CHAPTERS AND
INDIGO THEY SAID ON THE
WHOLE THE CELEBRITY BOOKS
DON'T HAVE A LONG SHELF LIFE
BECAUSE ON THE WHOLE THEY
ARE NOT REALLY THAT WELL
WRITTEN.
SO THEY DON'T DO THAT WELL
BUT THIS ONE I THOUGHT WAS
VERY GOOD BY JOHN LITHGOW
THE ACTOR, THE -- ABOUT A
MUSICAL CHILD PRODIGY NAMED
PARKEL.
AND HE IS ABLE TO PLAY AND
MASTER EVERY INSTRUMENT IN
THE ORCHESTRA.
IT TOLD IN RHYME IN A VERY
ROLLICKING ROLLING FASHION.
THERE IS A LOT OF
ONOMATOPOEIA USE.
THE WHOLE SENSE OF THE
INSTRUMENTS BEING PLAYED AND
THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE
WONDERFUL.

Tina says AREN'T THEY GORGEOUS.

Mary says I LOVE THE PICTURES IN THERE.

Fast clips show caricatures in the book.

Tina says JUST THE SIZE OF
THE HEADS IN PROPORTION TO
THE BODIES, IT IS A NANCY
REAGAN LOOK.
PHILIPPA, WHAT HAVE YOU GOT
WITHIN.

s says MINE IS MUCH SOBERER.
AN ANTIDOTE TO CHRISTMAS
COMMERCIALISM, A BOY WHO
GROWS UP ON A FARM IN
DEPRESSION ERA CANADA.
AND WHAT IS REALLY TOUCHING
ABOUT THE BOOK IS THE
RELATIONSHIP HE HAS WITH HIS
FATHER.
BECAUSE THE TWO OF THEM SOW
A FIELD OF POTATO, IT IS
GOING TO BE THE BUMPER CROP
THAT REVERSES THEIR
DESPERATE FORTUNE.
AND THE FATHER CAN'T SELL
THE POTATO.
HE HAS THIS BUMPER CROP AND
THERE ARE NO CHRISTMAS
PRESENTS FOR THE BOY AND HIS
BROTHER.
BUT WHAT REALLY UP SETS THE
BOY IS THAT HIS FATHER IS SO
DISAPPOINTED.
AND THE RELATIONSHIP IS VERY
SUBTLY DRAWN.
AND I CRIED.

Tina says AS YOU SAY, A
PERFECT ANT DOET TO WHAT IS
GOING ON AROUND
CHRISTMASTIME WHICH DRIVES
US CRAZY.
YOU HAVE A LOVELY
KIDS BOOK CALLED OLIVIA.

Mary says A PICTURE BOOK FOR
YOUNGER CHILDREN,
PRESCHOOLERS AND EVEN YOUNG
READERS, NOT A LOT OF TEXT
BUT BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS.
SHE HAS SO MUCH CHARM AND A
WONDERFUL WARDROBE.

Tina says VERY FETCHING
LITTLE TAKE.

Mary says SHE IS WEAR BEING 20
DIFFERENT OUTFITS.
IT IS MOSTLY BLACK AND WHITE
ILLUSTRATIONS BUT SHE DOES
WEAR RED WHICH REMINDS ME
THAT RED IS BEST.
SHE IS A PIG WHO LIKES
CULTURE SO SHE LIKES GOING
TO THE ART MUSEUM.
IMAGINES HERSELF AS A
BALLERINA, AN ARTIST AND A
WONDERFUL DRAWING AT THE END
WHERE HER MOTHER IS READING
HER A BEDTIME STORY AND IT
IS -- IT TERRIFIC.

Tina says NOW YOU HAVE
ANOTHER ONE AS WELL WHICH WE
COULDN'T HAVE PHILIPPA TALK
ABOUT BECAUSE IN FACT IT IS
BY HER HUSBAND.

Mary says WE HAD TO SNEAK IN THIS.
A WONDERFUL.
I READ THIS TO MY KIDS,
THEY LOVED IT BECAUSE THIS
GIRL PEG, SHE PERSON FEWS
THE WORD SPUNK.
NOTHING GETS HER DOWN AND
EVERY SITUATION IS MADE INTO
A POSITIVE ONE.
BASICALLY SHE WANTS TO DO
THE BEST SHE CAN.
AND SHE IS OUT THERE TO
CATCH A WHALE BECAUSE SHE IS
A FISHER GIRL, I GUESS WE
WILL SEE, POLITICALLY
CORRECT.
AND I JUST LOVED THE SPIRIT
IN THIS BOOK.

a says ABSOLUTELY LOVELY.
WE WILL END WITH GOLDEN GOOSE.
NOW THIS IS FROM PHILIPPA ONE
OF MY ALL-TIME FAVOURITE
WRITER.

s says AND MY KIDS LOVE THIS AND
ALL HER STUFF.
I THINK THIS ONE IS A
RETELLING OF THE CLASSIC
BROTHERS GRIM STORY BUT WHAT
APPEALS TO CHILDREN SO MUCH
ABOUT BARBARA REID'S WORK IS
OF COURSE THE PLOT, THE
ILLUSTRATIONS ARE INCREDIBLY
VIVID AND EXUS WERE --
EXPRESSIVE.
THIS YOU HAVE THE WONDERFUL
OPPORTUNITY OF THE HILL ARUOUS
CONGO LINE GOING THROUGH AND
ALL THE CHARACTERS
EXPRESSIONS OF SURPRISE AND
SO FORTH.
MY TWO-YEAR-OLD AND
FIVE-YEAR-OLD ASK ME TO READ
IT AGAIN AND AGAIN,
SOMETIMES IN A ROW.

Tina says WE WANT TO MENTION
QUICKLY ART RAGEOUS, A
CLUTCH BOOK AND JOY TO THE
WORLD WHICH IS A CHRISTMAS
TREASURE.

s says AN ANTHOLOGY.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS ONE,
A LOT OF ANTHOLOGIES OUT
THERE THIS YEAR IS THE
BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS IN THIS.
THERE ARE ALSO SOME
UNUSUAL PICKS, YOU WOULDN'T
THINK A CHRISTMAS TREASURY
WOULD HAVE TRUMAN CAPOTE AND
BEATRIX POTTER AND SOME OF
THE USUAL CHRISTINA ROSSETI
AND OH HENRY, BUT SOME
UNUSUAL ONE, TED HUGHES HAS
A POEM.

Mary says AND ART RAGEs O, DONE
WITH THE HELP OF THE
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
IF YOUR CHILD IS RELUCTANT
TO PICK UP A BOOK THIS MIGHT
DO IT BECAUSE THERE ARE
WONDERFUL ART ACTIVITIES IN
IT.
MY FAVOURITE IS WHEN THEY
MUM I FEW A DOLL.
A MOCK MUMMIFICATION OF YOUR
OWN DOLL.

Tina says AREN'T YOU AN
INTERESTING WOMAN.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, GREAT BOOKS.

An animated transition shows a clip of James Laxer talking. A caption reads “Who or what turned you onto reading as a child?”

James says BY THE AGE OF 12 CHARLES
DICKENS TURNED ME ON TO
READING AND THE LOVE OF MY
LIFE WAS DAVID COPPERFIELD
AND IF HAS RULED MY LIFE
EVER SINCE.

Then, David Adam Richards appears and says
MY MOTHER USED TO READ TO
ME WHEN I WAS A KID.
AND SHE HAD A GREAT READING
VOICE, ONE OF THE BEST I
HEARD.
SO IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN HER.
BUT THE FIRST TIME I READ A
BOOK I WAS 14, OLIVER TWIST.

Now Jeffrey Meyers pops up and says
I THINK MY OWN NATURAL CURIOSITY.
I DON'T REMEMBER MY PARENTS
OR TEACHERS IN ANY WAY
STIMULATING ME.
IT WAS JUST FINDING THINGS
ACCIDENTALLY THAT I LIKED
AND PURSUING THEM.
I REMEMBER READING A LOT OF
JOHN STEINBECK WHEN I WAS IN
HOSPITAL.

Now Richard Scrimger appears and says
I WAS READ TO BY MY PARENTS.
I HAVE VIVID MEMORIES OF MY
FATHER READING ME WINNIE THE POOH.

Now Ursula K. Le Guin appears and says
ONE OF MY OLDER BROTHERS
TAUGHT ME HOW TO READ WHEN I
WAS FIVE.
HE REALIZED I WAS ILLITERATE
AND WAS ASHAMED OF ME.

Scrimger says A FRIEND OF MINE IN GRADE
FIVE, I THINK HE IS A
SCIENTIST, TURNED ME ON TO
FREDDIE THE PIG BOOK.
AND THINKING THEY WERE THE
MOST FUNNY THINGS.

Now Sharon Butala appears and says
OH, NO QUESTION, IT WAS MY MOTHER.
OUR MOTHER WAS A GREAT
READER AND SHE FELT THAT
THERE WAS SOME -- IT WAS
ALMOST LIKE, YOU KNOW, OTHER
KIDS ARE NOT TAUGHT NOT TO
STEAL.
WE WERE TOLD WE HAD TO READ.
FORTUNATELY WE REALLY LIKED
READING.

Now Francine Prose appears and says
MY AUNT WHO LIVED WITH US
WHEN I WAS GROWING UP WAS A
HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY TEACHER
AND SHE WOULD JUST BRING ME
HOME STACKS OF BOOKS FROM
THE HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARY.
AND SHE ACTUALLY READ ME
LITTLE WOMEN ALOUD WHEN I
WAS A KID.
AND THAT WAS IT.

The clips end.

Tina reappears and says AND THAT WAS IT.
SO HOW DO YOU GET
YOUR CHILD EXCITED ABOUT
READING.
IT CAN BE A REAL PROBLEM IN
THESE DAYS OF VIDEOS AND
COMPUTER GAMES.
PAUL KROPP IS A VETERAN
TEACHER AND THE AUTHOR OF A
BOOK CALLED “HOW TO MAKE
YOUR CHILD A READER FOR LIFE.”
IT IS FULL OF DOS AND DON'TS
FOR PARENTS WHO WANT THEIR
KIDS TO LOVE BOOKS.

In a clip, a mother reads to her toddler son.

She says I WENT TO THE KITCHEN
SINK WHICH IS A PLACE WHERE
I THINK AND THINK AND THINK
IT THAN SUDDENLY HI AN IDEA,
THE SOLUTION TO SAVE THE DAY.
I SHOUTED OUT ONE WORD, BANANAS.

Now a man in his fifties gives an interview.
A caption reads “Paul Kropp. How to make your child a reader for life.”
Paul has a stubble and wears a blue shirt.

He says ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE
LEARNED IN THE LAST TEN
YEARS IS THE IMPORTANCE OF
EARLY READING.
THERE HAS BEEN SOME GROWING
OVER TIME BEFORE MANY OF THE
LISTENERS OUT THERE WERE
BORN, BACK IN THE 1960s,
USED TO TALK ABOUT READING
READINESS.
THEY SAY YOU CANNOT TEACH A
CHILD TO READ UNTIL THEY ARE
READY TO READ AND THERE WAS
A MAGIC MOMENT AT WHICH
POINT A CHILD COULD LEARN.
THAT TURNED OUT TO BE JUST
POPPYCOCK.
JUST NOT TRUE AT ALL.
KIDS LEARN HOW TO READ IN
SORT OF INCREMENTAL STAGES
OVER A PERIOD OF TIME,
DIFFERENT THINGS HAPPENING.
AND IT COULD START AT 6
MONTHS.

The mother who was reading appears with her husband and two children.
A caption reads “Vera Litynsky.”

She says A FRIEND OF MINE WORKS
FOR THE OAKVILLE PUBLIC
LIBRARY AND WORKS WITH
CHILDREN ALL THE TIME.
WHEN I WAS PREGNANT, SHE DID
SAY YOU KNOW, RESULTS HAVE
SHOWN READING TO BABIES IS
VERY IMPORTANT.
AND I THOUGHT IT WAS A BIT
ODD.
I SAID OKAY, IF SHE SAYS
THAT, I TRUST HER.
WE STARTED READING WHEN SHE
WAS SIX WEEKS OLD.
AND JUST LITTLE BOOKS THAT
HAD REALLY GOOD RHYTHM AND
RHYMING.
AND SHE SEEMED TO REALLY
ENJOY IT.
AND BOOKS HAVE BEEN A PART
OF HER LIFE FROM VERY, VERY
YOUNG.

Paul says IN THE BOOK I TALK ABOUT
A KIND OF SUPPORTIVE ROLE
FOR PARENTS, START THE KIDS
OFF EARLY, DO POINT OUT HOW
YOU BREAK WORDS BY CLAPPING.
AND HOW WORDS CORRELATE WITH
OBJECTS THAT ARE OUT THERE.
AND READ, READ, READ LOTS OF
BOOKS BECAUSE A PARENT WHO
READS TEN MINUTES A DAY
DOUBLES THE AMOUNT OF TIME A
CHILD READS IN SCHOOL.
THOSE ARE ESSENTIAL ROLES.

Vera says WE READ TO OUR KIDS I
THINK EVERY DAY.
I THINK A DAY DOESN'T GO BY
WHERE WE DON'T READ
SOMETHING TO THEM.
WE THINK IT IS REALLY
IMPORTANT.
OR A WASTE OF TIME IF
SOMETHING IS NOT READ, EVEN
IF IT IS JUST ONE SHORT
STORY, THEY GET SOMETHING
EVERY DAY.

Vera’s husband speaks.
A caption reads “Gregg Thurlbeck. Parent.”

He says YEAH, IT HAS BECOME A
POINT WHERE IT IS SOMETHING
THAT THEY LOOK FORWARD TO.
SO MUCH.
THAT IF THERE IS A DAY WHEN
SHE HAS A LOT OF HOMEWORK TO
DO AND WE DON'T GET TO DO
ANY READING OR FOR ONE
REASON OR ANOTHER, THEY ARE
REALLY DISAPPOINTED.

Paul says HOW DOES A PRAYER START,
YOU START BY EXAMPLE, YOU READ.
THE NEWSPAPER, THE BOOK, YOU
SET ASIDE TIME FOR READING.
AND THAN YOU READ WITH A
CHILD TO SHOW HOW WONDERFUL
IT IS.
I TALK IN THE BOOK IN HOW TO
MAKE YOUR CHILD READ FOR
LIFE ABOUT READING AS AN
ORAL PHENOMENON, THAT
READING FOR HUNDREDS AND
HUNDREDS, IF THOUGHT
THOUSANDS OF YEARS WAS
SOMETHING THAT WAS JUST DONE
OUT LOUD.
THAT THERE WAS NO REASON TO
MAKE A PRIVATE WORD ON THE
PAGE, IT HAS TO BE OUT LOUD
TO BE FUN.
AND SO THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN.
AND I TALK ABOUT HOW
WONDERFUL IT IS TO MAINTAIN
A TRADITION OF ORAL READING.

Vera says THEY SEE US READING ALL
THE TIME.
THEY SEE US TAKING A BOOK TO
WORK.
AND READING ON THE SUBWAY.
THEY KNOW THAT A BOOK IS
ALWAYS ATTACHED TO US, A
BOOK BY OUR BED, BOOKS
EVERYWHERE.
AND THEY DO SEE US READING
ALL THE TIME.
SO THEY KNOW, I THINK, JUST
BY EXAMPLE IT IS A PART OF
THEIR LIFE.

Now the couple’s eldest, a girl around 7, reads for Gregg and says
WHILE YOU ARE AT HOG WART, YOUR --

Paul says THE THREE Rs WERE THE
BASIS OF THE OLD BOOK.
AND THEY ARE STILL VERY
SOUND.
PROBABLY THE MOST SENSIBLE
ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO A
PARENT.
THE FIRST R IS READ WITH
YOUR CHILD.
AND I SPEND A LOT OF TIME IN
THIS NEW BOOK TALK
APPROXIMATING ABOUT THE
PROCESS OF READING AND WHAT
IS RIGHT AND WRONG AND HOW
TO DO IT.
BUT READING WITH THAT CHILD
EVERY NIGHT FOR 20 MINUTES
JUST HAS SUCH DIVIDENDS.
STARTING PROBABLY -- VERY
EARLY, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T
DO THE 20 MINUTES AT AGE TWO
BUT THREE OR FOUR AND THAN
YOU CARRY IT THROUGH TO THE
AGE OF RATIONAL REASONING
WHICH IS, I BELIEVE, AGE 35
OR 40.
AS LONG AS YOU CAN.
SO READING WITH YOUR CHILD T
THAT IS THE FIRST R.
REACH INTO YOUR POCKET, FIND
SOME MONEY, BUY SOME BOOKS.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO DOWN TO
CHAPTERS OR IN -- INDIGO OR
LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOK STORE
AND SHELL OUT BIG DOLLARS.
LAWN SALES ARE GOOD ENOUGH.
FOR OLDER KIDS THEY ONLY
NEED ONE HARRY POTTER AND
THEY CAN TRADE FOR THE OTHERS.
BUT THEY NEED A CERTAIN
NUMBER OF BOOKS TO START AND
THEY NEED THEIR OWN BOOKS SO
THEY CAN PICK THEIR
FAVOURITE.

Gregg and Vera’s daughter says I HAVE ABOUT LIKE -- HOW
MANY BOOKS DO WE HAVE.

Gregg says I DON'T KNOW, MAYBE ABOUT 50.

Gregg and Vera’s daughter says I HAVE ABOUT 50 BOOKS.

Vera says OH, I THINK MORE.
I THINK CLOSE TO A HUNDRED.

Gregg and Vera’s daughter says OKAY, A HUNDRED BOOKS,
LIKE A HUNDRED BOOKS.
AND I ALMOST READ ALL OF THEM.

Paul says SO THAT IS SECOND R IS,
YOU KNOW, FIND MONEY, BUY BOOKS.
AND THE LAST R IS RULE THE
TELEVISION SET WHICH I
EXPANDED, RULE THE TV, THE
VIDEO, THE COMPUTER AND THE
OTHER MEDIA BECAUSE IN A
HOUSEHOLD TODAY THERE ARE SO
MANY.
SOMEHOW READING TIME HAS TO
BE PRESERVED.
TEN YEARS AGO, FOR INSTANCE,
I HAD SAID I THOUGHT
COMPUTERS WERE A VERY GOOD
THING FOR READING.
AT THAT TIME THE WHOLE
COMPUTER THING WAS IN ITS
INFANCY.
WE WERE LOOKING AT BASICALLY
A SCREEN OF PRINT WHEN YOU
LOOKED AT THE INTERNET.
AND PEOPLE WOULD READ ALONG
AND THAT WAS IT.
YOU KNOW, THERE WERE NO
PICTURES.
WE HADN'T COME UP WITH THE
TECHNOLOGY FOR PICTURES YET.
AND A KID WORKING ON A
COMPUTER WAS WORKING WITH
SIMPLE LITTLE WORD GAMES.
BUT THAT NOT TRUE ANY MORE.
THE IDEA OF SCROLLING DOWN
THE SCREEN IS NO LONGER IN
PLACE.
NOW YOU JUMP AROUND.
THE KIDS JUMP AROUND SO
THERE IS NO CONTINUITY OF
THOUGHT.
AND A KID WORKING ON A
CD-ROM GAME IS ESSENTIALLY
JUST PLAYING WITH A GAME.
AND WE GOT NEW RESEARCH,
THAT IS ANOTHER THING, YOU
KNOW, THAT JUST HAD TO BE
LOOKED AT.
TEN YEARS AGO WE DIDN'T HAVE
A LOT OF RESEARCH ON WHETHER
COMPUTERS WERE ANY GOOD AT
ANYTHING.
WE DO HAVE STUFF NOW.
AND SO OVER THE LAST TEN
YEARS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
FIGURE OUT THIS.
THERE IS NOW ONE STUDY THAT
INDICATES THAT COMPUTERS
HELP A KID TO READ BETTER
NOT ONE.
WE HAVE THESE MACHINES IN
THE CLASSROOMS, TWO, THREE,
FOUR COMPUTERS IN A
CLASSROOM.
WHOLE LABS IN SCHOOLS,
SOMETIMES TWO OR THREE
DIFFERENT LABS.
THE KIDS GET MARCHED IN AS
IF SOMETHING IS GOING TO
HAPPEN BUT THE DATA
INDICATES THAT NOTHING IS
GOING ON.
AND SO PARENTS AND
POLITICIANS ARE BEING
FOOLED.
AND I WANTED TO COME OUT IN
A BOOK AND SAY THIS IS A
WRONG TURN.

Vera reads to her toddler and says LOOK AT THAT.
IS SHE GOING TO HAVE A
LITTLE BIT OF TROUBLE WITH
THOSE ELEPHANTS?

The boy smiles and nods.

Vera continues YOU THINK?
THEY ARE BIGGER THAN THOSE
MONKEYS, RIGHT.

In the interview, she says BOTH OUR KIDS ENJOY READING.
IT BECOMES A NATURAL
ACTIVITY IN THIS HOUSEHOLD
IT IS NOT ANYTHING SPECIAL T
IS SOMETHING THAT WE DO
EVERY DAY.
AND THEY REALLY ENJOY IT.
SO IT IS JUST -- IT PART OF
THEIR LIFE, RIGHT.

Paul says YEAH, BOOKS ARE TOO
EXPENSIVE STILL.
COMPUTERS ARE A DANGER DOWN
THE LINE, AND THEY ARE THE
HIGHER LEVEL THINKING
SKILLS.
SO I THINK THERE ARE SOME --
BUT RIGHT NOW AS WE SIT HERE
IN THE LIVING ROOM, AND I
SORT OF EYEBALL KIDS READING,
I WOULD SAY THE NEWS IS GOOD.

The clip ends.

In the studio, Tina says HOW TO MAKE YOUR
CHILD A READER FOR LIFE BY
PAUL KROPP IS PUBLISHED BY
RANDOM HOUSE CANADA.
AND THAT WRAPS UP OUR
LOOK AT CHILDREN'S BOOK THIS WEEK.
JOIN ME NEXT TIME FOR A
CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN
WRITER ARMISTEAD MAUPIN,
LONG BEFORE WILL AND GRACE
THERE WAS TALES OF THE CITY.
ARMISTEAD MAUPIN'S HUGELY
POPULAR SERIES ABOUT DAY --
GAY LIFE IN 1970s SAN
FRANCISCO.
HE HAS A NEW BOOK CALLED
“THE NIGHT LISTENER” THAT IS
NEXT WEEK ON “IMPRINT.”
TO END THE SHOW, MORE
WRITERS ON WHAT MADE THEM
READERS FOR LIFE.
GOOD NIGHT.

A snippet from an interview to Val McDermid plays.

Val says MY MOTHER TOOK ME TO THE
LIBRARY BEFORE I COULD EVEN
READ AND SHOWED ME PICTURE
BOOKS.
AND THAN WE MOVED TO LIVE
OPPOSITE THE CENTRAL LIBRARY
WHEN I WAS ABOUT SIX AND
THAT BECAME MY SECOND HOME
AND THAT WAS THE START OF A
LIFELONG ADDICTION.

Now Michèle Roberts says I WAS A DEVOURING, GREEDY
READER WHO READ EVERYTHING
IN THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.
EVERYTHING IN MY SCHOOL.
I HAD TO BE PUT TO READING
THE BIBLE TO SLOW ME DOWN.

Now Elisabeth Harvor says OUR PARENTS READ TO US.
AND MY FEAR MOSTLY READ TO US.
AND HE HAD THE MOST SOOTHING
VOICE.
AND IT WAS JUST A WONDERFUL
WAY TO GO TO BED EVERY NIGHT,
TO BE READ TO.

Now Cordelia Strube says THERE WERE BOOKS EVERY
WHERE AND NOT MUCH ELSE TO DO.

Now Jayne Anne Phillips says I LIVED OUT IN THE
COUNTRY AND MY MOTHER JOINED
A BOOK CLUB.
SHE JOINED BOOK CLUBS FOR
ALL HER CHILDREN.
SHE SAID THE BOYS JUST THREW
BOOKS DOWN AND I JUST TURNED
INTO A KIND OF READER
ADDICT.
I WAS -- MY FRIEND WAS COME
OUT TO PLAY WITH ME AND I
WOULD SIT ON THE BED AND
READ.

Now Colum McCann says MY FATHER, HE BROUGHT
HOME BOOKS ALL THE TIME.
THE HOUSE IS FULL OF BOOKS.
IT WAS A HOUSE OF BOOKS,
BUILT ON BOOKS.
THE FURNITURE WAS OUT OF
BOOKS.

Now Emma Donoghue says I HAD A WONDERFUL MALE
BABY-SITTER, A SPOILED
PRIEST, A DROPOUT PRIEST WHO
READ ME THE COMPLETE BOOKS

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks, International Festival of Authors, Young People’s Theatre, Mabel’s Fables Children’s Bookstore.

Imprint. C/O TVOntario. P.O. Box 200. Station Q, Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1.

Fax: 416-484-2780.

E-mail: imprint@tvo.org.

Website: www.tvo.org/imprint

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2000, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 12 episode 11