Children’s author Lemony Snicket couldn’t make it to his Barnes & Noble book signing in Carle Place Tuesday night – he was bitten in his underarm by a bat and paralyzed, said his representative Daniel Handler, who appeared in his place.
Handler demonstrated for the dozens of kids awaiting Snicket how the paralyzed author tried to make it to Long Island after being bitten on “a terrible, painful place on his body” – he lay on the table before them and moved only his flopping left arm, bringing a burst of laughter from the children.
The kids weren’t fooled. “He was here,” Jeremy Portnoy, 10, of Plainview, said of Snicket. “He is Daniel Handler.”
Even if some kids didn’t realize that Handler writes under the pen name Lemony Snicket, they weren’t disappointed that the real “Snicket” didn’t show. “I think Daniel Handler made up for it. He was just as funny as he is in the books,” said Cameron Robinson, 10, also of Plainview.
Handler/Snicket was on Long Island for the worldwide launch of the first book of his new series, “All the Wrong Questions.” The new book is called “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” and will be followed by an additional book each of the next three years. “All the Wrong Questions” follows Handler/Snicket’s blockbuster series of 13 books called “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” which sold millions of copies and was made into a major motion picture.
On Tuesday night, Handler produced the bat that bit Snicket, encased in a box that he warned kids not to look in. “You were right to make a frightened face,” he said to one kid. “The last person who looked in, his hair turned snow white.” Handler also led an alleged “secret meeting of a secret society,” and played his accordion and sang. The half-hour performance preceded his signing of his new book.
“We love his books and we wanted to see him,” said Lilah Lacetera, 11, of Islip, who Handler called up to the front to participate in his antics along with her friend Lauren Gilson, 10, also of Islip. “He’s our favorite author.”