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Taft Library Kicks Off Summer Reading Program in a Magical Way

Emma Haley and Cameron Hagan help out magician Mike Bent during the Taft Public Library's Summer Reading Program kickoff at Clough Elementary School.

The Taft Public Library kicked off their very popular summer reading program on the afternoon of June 28 with the entertaining and often funny antics of magician Mike Bent's Abrakidabra show. The show took place at Clough Elementary School with a crowd of nearly 100 children and parents in attendance.

This year's summer reading program theme is Dream Big: Read.

Bent's show consisted of many of the magic tricks that children love, but what made his show so unique was how he incorporated reading and various popular children's books into his show and thus dubbed his show the Dream Big Magic Show.

Bent has been performing magic since he was 15 years old. He's also been teaching professional comedy writing at Emerson College for more than 18 years. He has traveled throughout the country performing for children and made multiple appearances on national television stations including HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central, among others. He has also performed at the White House multiple times.

During his hour long show at Clough, he spoke about famous literature characters and writers such as Dr. Seuss, Kermit the Frog, and Jim Henson and integrated his tricks around the writer or a book. While performing a rope and knot trick, he recited a Dr. Seuss-like rhyme to go along with it. "I cannot tie a knot in a house. I cannot tie a knot with a mouse."

Other books brought into the show included Tony and the Pizza Champions by Tony Gemignani, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, and Houdini the Amazing Caterpillar by Janet Pedersen.

For some added fun, he also brought up some assistants from his young audience to help him out with different tricks. Funny sounds affects also kept the crowd laughing. Toward the end of his show, Bent read the book Goodnight Moon to his very cute magic rabbit, a puppet, who was sitting in a hat.

According to Taft Children's Librarian Andrew Jenrich, approximately 220 children have signed up for the summer reading program thus far and he expects more. The Dream Big: Read program continues through August 22 and encourages children of all ages to read during their summer vacation. Other upcoming events include magician Ed Popielarczyk on July 9, a chalk art program on July 11, and Farmer Minor and Daisy the Pot-bellied Pig with their Pig Out literacy program on July 17. For more information on these and the other children's events being offered as part of the Dream Big: Read summer reading program contact the Taft Public Library at 508-473-3259.


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