Lemony Snicket's brief and spectacular video on the bewildering state of childhood

by Daniel Handler a.k.a. Lemony Snicket - PBS Newshour 'Brief But Spectacular' 1 September 2016
ages teen to grownup for the video + kids for the chapter books

There are so many fast and witty grabs in this 3 minute video that I can safely quote from it without being the least bit of a spoiler, like -

How the name Lemony Snicket came about:

'When I was researching my first novel, "The Basic Eight," I was calling up right-wing religious organization and political groups in order to make fun of them.

And I thought to myself, I better not tell her my real name. I will be on their mailing list forever. So, she said, "What is your name?"

So, I said, "Lemony Snicket."

And then there was a pause. And I thought, out of all the things you could have said, that was the worst one. No one was going to believe that. And then the woman from the right-wing organization said, "Is that spelled how it sounds?"'

On children's literature:

'So much of children’s literature is about enforced fun or enforced morality. Surely, you will be rewarded if you behave this way, or aren’t you having a wonderful time reading about this? And you never are. And it never goes that way.'

On writing:

'A writer’s relationship with rejection is like that of a fish to water. It’s all that’s there. I think you should feel it and feel utter despair and then move on.'

On technology (I particularly love this one):

'I was going to say something about technology’s influence on reading, but then I got a text, and I just have to answer it. Can I just — I will be right back.'

Lemony Snicket is a favourite at Kim’s house. A Series of Unfortunate Events was the first set of books that Louisa read all by herself - she had a few late nights as she ploughed through them all in a week. Later, Louisa’s Christmas Eve book was We are Pirates, which she also loved. It's by Daniel Handler and, at the time, the family had no idea that they were one and the same author. 

We also love 13 Words, illustrated by Maira Kalman.

And if you don't mind the upfront outlay, there's this fabulous set: A Series of Unfortunate Events Box - The Complete Wreck (Books 1 - 13).

I hope you enjoy the video!