, Muskogee, OK

June 2, 2014

Magical summer: Shows are part of library’s reading program

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Kids covered their ears when Matthew Thomas held up a balloon and a foot-long pin.

They expected a loud pop to shake the walls of Q.B. Boydstun Library the moment that pin touched the balloon.

Slowly, Thomas pushed the needle through the balloon’s clear skin — nothing.

Thomas, who goes by the name “Magic Matt,” dazzled youngsters with more magic during a Friday morning show at the library. He encouraged the kids to discover their magic this summer.

“You know where I learned a lot of things I do? I learned a lot at the library,” he said. “There are a lot of books and things at the library.”

Magic Matt’s show was the first of several magic shows planned at Q.B. Boydstun, said library branch manager Rhonda Lee. Children can see feats of magic as well as science during “Fizz, Boom Read,” the library’s summer reading program.

Pre-schoolers and elementary school kids filled the library’s meeting room for Friday’s show. Thomas showed how a needle can pass through a balloon, then pop it.

With eager audience participation, Thomas also showed how two ropes can become one and how ropes can pass through a boy’s neck.

Dakota O’Dell, 8, volunteered for the rope-through-the-neck trick. He stood straight and still as Thomas passed the rope through his T-shirt around the neck and out the other side. Two other volunteers yanked the rope not only through the neck, but out the shirt.

“It felt fun,” Dakota said. “I was not scared.”

Thomas also set fire to a dollar bill to show kids how water and rubbing alcohol can keep fire from consuming the dollar.

Jayden Allen, 10, said the magic show was awesome, even though “some of the tricks I already knew.”

“I know because I like science,” Jayden said. “I know about the ropes. There are really two ropes. I know about the dollar bill too. Alcohol can catch on fire without burning something into pieces.”

“And the water just melted the fire,” said Nathan Allen, 7, Jayden’s younger brother.

Lee said magician Doug Anderson will perform at 10 a.m. Thursday. Storyteller and magician Michael Corley will perform at 10 a.m. June 17.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or