Friday, July 7, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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A magic summer at area libraries

Special to The Seattle Times

The magic is traditional - bottomless buckets, ketchup bottles that become magic wands, swords pulled out of small cloth sacks - but the patter is strictly Harry Potter and wizardry, which is to say, all the rage with kids this summer.

Seattle magician Payne Fifield, otherwise known as Hieronymous Payne, is conducting a "First-Year Wizards' Orientation for Bogwart's School" at libraries throughout King County this summer. He's explaining why balls bounce on tables - "because there are gremlins in them, and there are gremlins in the table, and they despise each other" - and why each student will want a magical footlocker, which automatically transports the student's valuables to a safe-deposit box at the bank whenever he or she goes on vacation.

The kids love it. At a recent show at the Kingsgate Library, 91 people, mostly elementary-age, sat at rapt attention for 45 minutes. Afterward, librarian Jennifer Duffy reminded them that she'd set out a display of magic books, Harry Potter books and other fantasy novels on a back table.

"The Harry Potter books are wonderful, but I don't want you to stop reading with just those four books," she said.

Bogwart's School is just one of many events the King County Library System is offering this summer to inspire children to read.

"Studies have shown that children who don't read during the summer can lose an entire grade of reading skill before they go back in the fall," library-system spokes woman Marsha Iverson said.

"We want kids to keep up their reading, keep up their curiosity. We want them to see the library as a place where they can find answers to questions about anything they're interested in."

Magic, for example.

This year's summer-program theme is "TimeQuest: Read Through the Ages," chosen to illustrate that "you can go to any place you want," Iverson said.


Eastside library events

The following Eastside library events remain in this summer's series of special programs:

"Pecos Bill, a Tall Tale," with the Oregon Shadow Theatre, ages 4 and up: 7 p.m. Monday, Mercer Island; 11 a.m. next Thursday, Kirkland (tickets available 30 minutes before the program); 7 p.m. July 17, Lake Hills (tickets available 30 minutes before program); 2 p.m. July 18, Fairwood (seating limited to first come, first served); 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. July 19, Bellevue (tickets available starting Wednesday).

"First-Year Wizards' Orientation for Bogwart's School," with Payne Fifield, families: 11:30 a.m. July 15, Kenmore (registration began Saturday), outside, weather permitting; 2 p.m. July 15, Fall City Fire Station (please register); 7:30 p.m. July 18, Sammamish Library (registration began yesterday); 2 p.m. July 20, Kirkland (tickets available 30 minutes before program); 7 p.m. Aug. 1, Aldersgate United Methodist Church (across the street from Newport Way Library, Bellevue); 7 p.m. Aug. 2, Bellevue; 7 p.m. Aug. 7, Snoqualmie (please register); 7 p.m. Aug. 8, Bothell.

"Clowning Through the Ages," with Linda Severt, families: 7 p.m. July 18, Bothell; 1 p.m. July 25, Robinswood Park, Bellevue; 7 p.m. Aug. 2, Kenmore (registration begins July 19); noon Aug. 9, Rotary Park, weather permitting, (across the street from Mercer Island Library).

"Robin Hood and Other Plays," with the Seattle Knights, a steel-fighting and jousting organization, school age and older: 2 p.m. Tuesday, Fairwood, seating limited to first-come, first-served; 7 p.m. July 25, Redmond; 7 p.m. Aug. 2, Lake Hills.

"Singin' Sidesaddle," with Mary Lee Sunseri and Nancy Stewart in songs of the Old West, families with young children: 7 p.m. July 18, Redmond (registration began yesterday); 11 a.m. July 19, Issaquah (in the train depot next to the library); 2 p.m. July 19, Duvall; 11 a.m. July 20, Fairwood; 7 p.m. July 20, Snoqualmie; 7 p.m. July 31, Fall City.

"Ms. Pickle Travels Through the Ages," with Eve Hilgenberg, Seattle Children's Theatre, families with children 5 to 12: 7 p.m. Wednesday Newport Way, Bellevue; 7 p.m. Aug. 25, Lake Forest Park.

"Time Past, Tales Told in Tandem," with Jen and Nat Whitman, families: 1:30 p.m. July 25, Fall City; 7 p.m. July 25, Bothell; 7 p.m. July 28, Lake Forest Park; noon Aug. 2, Rotary Park, weather permitting, (across the street from Mercer Island Library); 2 p.m. Aug. 3, Kirkland.

"Tom Sawyer," presented by Book-It Repertory Theatre, families with children 5 and older: 1 p.m. Tuesday, Woodinville; 2 p.m. next Thursday, North Bend; 7 p.m. Aug. 23, Duvall.

"Song Writing Through the Ages," with songwriter Linda Severt, ages 12 and older: 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sno Valley Youth Center (two blocks south of Carnation Library).

"Vehicle of the Future: You Design and Build It Today!" with multimedia artist Tom Flood, teens: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Redmond (registration began June 24); 2 p.m. next Thursday, Snoqualmie; 2 p.m. July 19, Newport Way, Bellevue; 6:30 p.m. July 20, Fairwood; 6:30 p.m. July 26, Duvall; 7 p.m. July 28, Lake Hills (Escape program); 7 p.m. Aug. 3, Bothell.

"The Myth Makers of Civilization," with Tames Alan, ages 9 and older: 7 p.m. July 14, Lake Hills; 7 p.m. Aug. 10, Kirkland.

"The Intrepid Victorian Traveler," with Tames Alan, ages 10 and older: 7 p.m. July 17, Kenmore. Registration began June 15.

"Drum! Keeping Time Through the Ages," with Simone La Drumma, ages 10 to adult: 7 p.m. today, Fairwood; 1 p.m. Saturday, Fall City; 7 p.m. Wednesday, Issaquah; 2 p.m. next Thursday, Woodinville; 2 p.m. July 14, Sammamish; 7 p.m. July 21, Lake Forest Park; 3 p.m. July 26, Kenmore, registration began June 15; 7 p.m. Aug. 2, Kingsgate; 7 p.m. Aug. 11, Lake Hills (Escape program).

"Swashbuckling Knights," with the Seattle Knights, ages 10 and older: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Mercer Island; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Kingsgate; 7 p.m. next Thursday, Bothell (please register); 7 p.m. July 18, Woodinville; 7 p.m. July 20, Issaquah; 7 p.m. July 27, Bellevue; 7 p.m. Aug. 3, Sammamish.

"The History Mystery of Writing and Books," with Cheryl Hadley, children's librarian, ages 10 to adult: 2 p.m. Wednesday, Kenmore; 7 p.m. July 19, Newport Way, Bellevue, registration begins Wednesday; 7:30 p.m. July 25, Woodinville; 1:30 p.m. Aug. 3, Kingsgate, registration begins July 27.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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