GREENVILLE — Magician Jim Kleefeld, of Avon, Ohio, entertained a crowd gathered on the Greenville Public Library (GPL) lawn, with “The Build a Better World Magic Show” Wednesday.
The show was part of the GPL “Family Fun Days” series through its “Build a Better World” 2017 Summer Reading Program.
“I do children’s magic shows for a living because I love kids,” Kleefeld said. “The idea is to motivate kids to read books to give them something to hang onto.”
Kleefeld has performed at reading club shows for about 40 years. He said his love of magic was born out of a small magic set he received at the age of 7. After some practice, he gave his first show for his parents in the living room. He went onto earn a Bachelor’s degree in theatrical arts, and added a Master’s in Early Childhood Education and became an elementary teacher. His show featured stories and books mixed with magic. It was all about hammers and nails, bricks and mortar, girders and rivets and what those things can make. The show was interactive, allowing children to be architects, designers, construction workers, plumbers and electricians to help create the magic. According to GPL’s Children’s Librarian and First Floor Supervisor Julie Kennett, anything the library offers kids is special for the community. She is quick to add that all ages are welcome and encouraged to come to the “Family Fun Day” events.
“We want the library to be fun and free,” she said. “We don’t people to think they just have to get books, but we want them to get books too. My favorite thing to do when we wait for the show, is to watch families come from all different directions and just settle on the library lawn. Sometimes almost 200 people are setting here.”
Luke Winterrowd brought his children to enjoy the show.
“We’ve attended all of the sessions so far,” he said. “It keeps the kids entertained and they enjoy every bit of it.”
Children were sent home with a card on how to do one of Kleefield’s magic tricks.
“If you put a little magic in your life, maybe it will help you build a better world,” he said.
The Greenville Public Library’s next “Family Fun Day” is Wednesday, July 12, on the library lawn with Reed Steele. For more information, call the Greenville Public Library at 937 548-3915.