In an event billed as “A Fortunate Stage Talk,” actor Neil Patrick Harris, of
Doogie Howser and How I Met Your Mother fame, who currently stars as
Count Olaf in the TV adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, will reunite
with Chris Harris (no relation), who was the executive producer of How I Met
Your Mother, and A Series of Unfortunate Events author Lemony Snicket.
They will talk up their fall books from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers,
but, as Neil says, expect “lots of
laughs and Scrabble-worthy wordy
banter”—and perhaps some literal
magic, since, as a bona fide magi-
cian, he no doubt has some tricks
up his sleeve to delight the audience,
starting with his debut children’s
The Magic Misfits is the first in
Neil Harris’s series about a slightly
offbeat group of children who love
the craft of magic. Assisted by their
wise magic mentor, they try to get
to the bottom of suspicious hap-
penings in town, exposing the
shenanigans of all sorts of charla-
tans who sound like escapees from the pages of A Series of Unfortunate
Events. “Two of my favorite things are magic and reading, which collided with
two new favorite things: my twin six-year-old children,” Neil says.
The Bad Mood and the Stick, Snicket’s new picture book, illus. by Matthew
Forsythe, demonstrates how negativity—in the form of a stick—can move
from person to person, wreaking havoc. But, adds Snicket, even when there
is negativity in the air, “something wondrous can happen.”
Snicket wants parents and children to realize that the world is an unpre-
dictable and confusing place, and it’s made even more confusing to children
when adults tell them that the world isn’t so fickle. The author advocates
that people just accept the world’s capriciousness, even if they cannot bring
themselves to revel in it.
Despite his book’s theme, Snicket promises not to bring any negativity into
Javits, “because there are enough people already at Javits in a bad mood.
There’s something about a large, windowless convention hall that brings out
grumpiness in people.” Even though booksellers may feel pessimistic as they
wander around Javits, he says, that can be alleviated by discovering a book
that “can cause such delight that they forget the inevitable troubles of
Chris Harris did not originally set out to publish the collection of poems
that became I’m Just No Good at Rhyming and Other Nonsense for Mischie-
vous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups, his picture book, illus. by Lane Smith.
The poems were originally written for his children, because they were “super
serious babies who were highly skeptical of the world,” and he wanted to
make them laugh with “weird” rhymes. Writing a book, he observes, was
“magical” and a “fun escape” from writing for television, which, he says, “is a
very collaborative process. It takes hundreds of people to create a TV show,
while when writing a book, I can hole up in a cafe and type something out,
and what I write is what people will read.” —Claire Kirch
Today, 2–3 p.m. Neil Patrick Harris and Lemony Snicket will engage in
conversation, moderated by Chris Harris, on the Main Stage.
Today, 3:30–4: 30 p.m. The three authors will sign copies of their books
in the Autographing Area: Neil Patrick Harris at Table 1, Lemony Snicket
at Table 2, and Chris Harris at Table 5.
Neil Patrick Harris,
Lemony Snicket, and
Chris Harris Create Magic
Neil Patrick Harris