2011 White House Easter Egg Roll: John Bemelmans Marciano Reads "Madeleine"

Uploaded by whitehouse on 25.04.2011

John Bemelmans Marciano: Hey everybody, how are we doing today?
Audience: Good.
John Bemelmans Marciano: Okay. So I want to check out if you guys have ever heard of a
character named Madeline before.
Who's heard of Madeline before?
Okay. Did anybody actually see the Madeline who is
roaming around the place?
Yes, it's pretty cool, right.
Well, my grandfather wrote and illustrated the original
Madeline book 70 years ago.
And I'm going to show you a picture of what my grandfather
looked like when he was a little boy.
Isn't that a funny picture?
He doesn't even look much like a boy, does he?
Like, would you ever dress like this?
But that's actually how people dressed like 100 years ago.
So he wrote the original Madeline.
The original Madeline was actually a book that he wrote
about my Mom.
He was from America, but he took my mom on a trip to Paris when
she was three years old.
Now he did a lot of books.
And one book that he had an idea for doing was a book of Madeline
coming to Washington.
And he was friends with the first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
And they had this idea that Madeline would visit Caroline,
who is President Kennedy's daughter.
But they never wound up -- he never wound up doing that book.
They never wound up doing that book.
So just this year I've actually finished a book that is called
Madeline at the White House.
And I've read it a lot of places in the country,
but I haven't read it ever before at the White House.
So you guys are going to be the first kids to ever hear me read
this at the White House.
So I am actually excited to do it.
Now if any of you guys have ever seen -- there's a book called
Madeline's Christmas.
And in Madeline's Christmas she meets a magician.
And this is Madeline's magician.
He's come to spend Easter with Madeline and girls,
but unfortunately she's leaving to go somewhere.
In an old White House in Washington, D.C.
lived as lonely a girl as there could be.
Her name was Miss Penelope Randall.
But everyone always called her Candle on account of a wildly
stubborn curl that like a flame would dance and twirl.
She needed an appointment to see her father but he
always canceled.
So why did she bother?
Now who do you think her father is?
Audience: (inaudible)
John Marciano: I don't think so, he's really busy.
Who do you think her father is?
Audience: A president.
John Marciano: A president. Not this president, a different president.
She sat bored and alone at her desk and stool,
the only student of the White House school.
Secret Service Agent Down made sure she never left the grounds.
You can see some Secret Service Agent guys coming
around here too.
But life took a turn for the better when from her mother
came a letter.
It read: Candle, my dear, sorry to miss Easter again this year,
but in my place I've arranged to send the daughter and classmates
of a very good friend.
Their old house in Paris is covered with vines,
and they travel about in two straight lines.
Their plane gets in at half past nine.
The smallest one is Madeline.
Eleven girls were very shy, but Madeline looked her straight in
the eye and said to Candle, how do you do?
It's very nice to be meeting you.
The girls were taken to their quarters.
Time to unpack were Miss Clavel's orders.
Madeline's bag contained a surprise.
Can you see what's in the bag?
What do you think is in the bag?
Audience: (inaudible) a bunny.
John Bemelmans Marciano: A bunny, a rabbit, or rather a friend in disguise.
Madeline's magician had stowed away to join them
for the holiday.
The kids all cried, hip hip hooray and went to Candle's
room to play.
So they have got all these toys.
Like they have got badminton and they have got dolls and
a tractor.
And they also have Lincoln Logs, because they are staying in the
Lincoln bedroom.
The girls bid good night to their new friend.
Candle was sad that it had to end.
She went to bed without delay.
She could hardly wait for the following day.
The White House Easter celebration is the most
fun festival in the nation.
They hunted Easter eggs at noon and then they rolled
them with a spoon.
Did any of you guys get a chance to roll any eggs?
Very cool.
Was it fun? Was it awesome?
Was it good? Great.
Ice cream pie and chocolate cake can lead to quite a tummy ache.
Madeline asked, would it be all right if I stayed in Candle's
room tonight?
Miss Clavel weakly nodded yes.
Her stomach too was in distress.
Just go to sleep early.
That's a warning.
Our plane leaves first thing in the morning.
They played dress-up.
Anybody like to play dress-up?
My daughter right here loves to play dress-up.
They play dress-up cards and had a lark and told scary stories in
the dark.
But when the cuckoo sang the hour the frolicking mood turned
quickly sour.
The night, where could it have gone?
All too soon would come to dawn.
Madeline would soon be leaving.
Oh, how Candle started grieving.
The poor girl cried boo hoo.
Why can't I fly away too?
Outside my window the world looks pretty,
but I've never even seen the city.
You see her room is right there in the East Wing of the White
House and she can see right over there the Washington monument.
But the Secret Service agent had never let her go around.
So you know what happens?
The rabbit took this as his cue.
A magician knows just what to do.
He raised his arms like a candelabra and chanted
the words abracadabra.
The rabbit conjured something awesome.
A magic tide of Cherry blossoms.
Had two girls ever flown so high?
Up into the starry sky?
The rising sun erased the moon.
Miss Clavel would wake up soon.
But on and on they tempted fate.
They were almost home, perhaps too late.
From the hall outside Miss Clavel knocked and tried the
door, but it was locked.
Are you there, Madeline?
We are in a hurry, said Miss Clavel, quite sick with worry.
Agent Downs is a good bit bolder,
broke the door open with his shoulder.
The girls they saw were fast asleep.
Now, do you guys think the girls are actually asleep?
Audience: (inaudible) no.
John Bemelmans Marciano: No, you think they are faking it.
Has anybody here ever faked being asleep when they weren't
really asleep?
Really? Did anybody do that last night? Or this morning?
A couple -- okay.
So the girls they saw were fast asleep.
But there was a schedule to keep.
Miss Clavel said Madeline make haste,
we haven't any time to waste.
To say good-bye is always sad, but coming home is never bad.
Miss Clavel came in that night and checked the girls
by candlelight.
To all the beds she walked around to see the girls were
safe and sound.
Then with a smile she closed the door.
And that's all there is, there isn't anymore.
Okay, guys, thank you so much for coming to hear me.
You guys were a great crowd.