"Abracadabra!" It's magic.
"Run to the library and read some books," urged magician Norman Barnhart as he put on a scintillating magic and comedy show for more than 100 Blooming Prairie youngsters last Wednesday, June 19.
Barnhart was back for his 18th year of performing at the Blooming Prairie Library.
His audience consisted of kids from the Blooming Prairie Youth Club and youngsters from local day care centers.
"Wow! Has it been that long!" said local librarian Nancy Vaillancourt. She introduced Barnhart, but first asked the youngsters how many have been reading at least 20 minutes a day. Lots of hands went up.
Barnhart told the kids that his objective in putting on a magic show for them is to get them excited about reading.
As he moved quickly through his show, Barnhart repeatedly said, "Are you ready for the show?" As he was about half way through his performance, he said, "Let's get started with the show."
One of Barnhart's more enthusiastic show watchers was seated in the back row of the Blooming Prairie City Center. He was none other than BP Police Chief Greg Skillestad, who also is known as Greg the Great, a magician in his own right.
"If you're ready for a trick, clap your hands," Barnhart encouraged the kids.
"You are all equally special and we're all different and unique," Barnhart told the kids.
"Go to the library and check out some books because reading makes your brain grow," Norm the magician told his audience.
"I suppose we should start the show now," Norm chided as he neared the completion of the show.
Norm did some card tricks to the delight of the kids. "There's a very special card you should use and that's the library card," said Barnhart.
"I hope you find some books that will make your dreams come true," Barnhart challenged the kids.
"Now, the show can begin," Barnhart said in conclusion.