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Summer reading program ends on a magic note in Sanbornton

Magician Greg McAdams of the Greg and Axel Magic Show holds up the Super Hero banner five-year-old Jacoby helped create during a special presentation for the Sanbornton Public Library's summer reading program. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
August 19, 2014
SANBORNTON — The Fizz Boom Read summer reading program for children came to a magical end last week when the Greg McAdams and his dog Axel visited the Sanbornton Public Library for a little slight of hand and a whole lot of laughs.

McAdams is a magician who has traveled the state's library circuit for many summers, entertaining children and encouraging them to read. His dog Axel, a Husky/Pyranees mix that he rescued from a shelter in Arkansas, now travels with him as part of the Greg and Axel Magic Show.

In Sanbornton last week, McAdams was dressed in safari gear when he arrived for his magic show. He explained to the boys and girls that he and Axel were also secret agents who were trying to find two bad book worms, brothers "Fizz" and "Boom." At night the dastardly duo have been eating books and stealing library cards in an attempt to keep children from reading over the summer. Axel himself was a victim of the book worms when they stole his treasured library card.

Before hunting for Axel's card though, McAdams had a little fun with the crowd of more than 60 boys and girls.

He brought out Axel's favorite coloring book and asked the children to help him color the pictures inside by pulling the colors off their own clothing. They each whispered a color into their hands then threw them through the air to reach the book. After a few "mistakes" on McAdam's part, they were able to magically color all the pages.

When they tried to pull their colors back through, their magic was a bit too strong, and they ended up erasing all the pictures completely.

"Well, now I need you all to take an imaginary pencil in your hands, say the word 'pictures' and draw them back in," McAdams told the audience.

Right before their eyes, all the drawings reappeared.

Two helpers were also selected from the crowd to perform another magic trick. Five-year-olds Jacoby and Vanessa added four specially lettered kerchiefs into a cloth bag. After tapping the bag with their magic wands, they were able to turn the letters H-E-R and O into a large super hero banner.

Super Special Secret Agent Renaldo the Flea hopped off Axel's head to perform a little magic, too, amazing boys and girls with his strength as he held up a piece of rope that was "more than a hundred times" bigger than himself.

Besides the magic and laughs, McAdams brought along some of Axel's favorite books and recommended them to all the boys and girls. Among the titles were the books in the Captain Underpants series, as well as "Detective Dinosaur," "Spy School," "If Dogs Could Talk," and "Secret Agent Splat," which is about a cat who solves a mystery at his house.

"Axel says there's no way a cat could ever be a secret agent like him though," McAdams said.

Finally, the children and McAdams discovered that book worms Fizz and Boom had left a locked book behind at Sanbornton's library. Once they got the lock opened, Axel's missing library card was discovered, hidden away inside the cover.

After thanking them for their help in finding Axel's stolen card, McAdam's encouraged the boys and girls to continue their work in keeping Fizz and Boom out of their library.

"The way to do that is to keep reading," he said.

Craft time followed the show and those in the summer reading program were able to turn in their completed reading logs to receive a free book. Library Director Marcia Haigh said those who hadn't finished the challenge to read ten titles still had time to do so before school starts.

Information on how to bring Greg and Axel's magic and fun to birthdays, school assemblies, fairs or other events can be found at www.mcadamsmagic.com. A percentage of each booking benefits other rescue animals like Axel.

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