"You can't imagine how exciting debuting The Gift of Music is for us!" [Julie Andrews Edwards] declares, referring to herself and [Emma Walton Hamilton]. "Because, first of all, Simeon's Gift (Harper Collins) started out as a little book with illustrations (by Gennady Spirin), that was then packaged with a CD (of Andrews narrating), and out of that came a small children's musical play, which next year will be traveling around the country to schools and libraries and regional theaters," she continues. "Out of that workshop came the idea to do Simeon's Gift as a symphony. And that is like the icing on the cake."As to whether Andrews and her daughter share a particular love for something that unconsciously ends up as a reoccurring theme in their books, Andrews laughs, then admits: "Time and time again, my daughter and I find that there are themes of nature and the arts, and the combination of them both, and our passion for literacy and for reading. One way or another for me our books have been mostly about recognizing the miracles that are right under our noses every day.. .like the miracle of nature. As a matter of fact," she continues, "all of my life, I've said that one of the best books I've ever read is The Little Grey Men, a children's book about gnomes and the English countryside. Written by an author and illustrator who literally signed his name B B. Since it was out of print in America, it was a joy to put it in The Julie Andrews Collection imprint at Harper Collins Publishers.""To be truthful, if it hadn't been for Blake I may not have approached this new joy for writing. I mean I'd always loved to scribble, but he was the one who said when I began writing what turned out to be (Mandy) my very first book some 38 years ago: 'Julie, it's lovely...keep writing! It doesn't matter whether you think it's any good or not. I think it is I Keep writing and the pages will grow and you can always go back and fix it.'"

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