Summer Reading Program Shows that are Magical, Interactive, Age-Appropriate, Laugh-Filled, and FUN!!
Books can transport readers to other times, places, and even different realities! Books can help you grow as a person – inspire you, challenge you, and educate you. In short, books are awesome! Of course, if you’re reading this webpage, you already know that!
I’m Cris Johnson, and I’m a library performer. I use magic, comedy, music, games, and audience interaction to hold the attention of any age group: kids, families, teens, young adults, and adults. While the majority of my library clients bring me in every year for Summer Reading Program, I also offer incredibly engaging presentations for other times of the year that are guaranteed to fill your library with patrons starving for books!
I’ve been presenting fun, amazing, and interactive shows for schools and libraries for nearly 20 years and have performed in 36 states across the country and in many parts of Canada. I’m always honored and humbled when I get reviews like this:
“We have Cris Johnson perform his Summer Reading Magic Show at our library every year. We LOVE him!!! His family programs are age-appropriate and he keeps the kids engaged. He includes lots of audience participation and best of all, he ALWAYS refers back to the importance of reading. He is the BEST!”
Gwen Cassidy, Youth Services Librarian
Lancaster Public Library
Using a combination of music, magic, age-appropriate humor and interactive fun, I guarantee your guests will be captivated from beginning to end!
I understand kids and, perhaps more importantly, I know how to relate to them. I use clean, age-appropriate humor and amazing magic skills help keep kids focused on the theme of my presentation. However, I don’t believe that a successful show means the kids are yelling and screaming the entire time. First, that’s not good for my blood pressure! Second, because my shows have structured highs and lows, I guarantee that things never get out of control!
Additionally, I use a ton of audience participation! It’s more fun for the kids and besides, they can “watch” a TV show. With me, my audiences become the STARS of the show in ways that are safe and appropriate. I’m truly honored by how many comments I get from parents complimenting me on how well I work with kids.
I’m pleased to report that I book about 250 shows a year in multiple states so what that means to you is…better call right away to see if I’m available for your library! I service libraries primary in Western New York as well as a few parts of Pennsylvania. Basically, I currently work in a 3 and a half hour ‘circle’ around Niagara Falls, NY, so if that’s where your library fits, call me. Best of all, if you have other libraries in your system, I offer discounts for multiple bookings on the same day and the same area.
Librarians who know me trust me to always put on a great fun show that emphasizes books. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been doing this professionally for nearly 20 years and I have no intention if slowing down! Call me at (716) 940-8963 (that’s my cell phone) and we can talk about your library. You can also contact me at HERE. I look forward to hearing from you!
The Incredible Tall Tales and Amazing Tails Show!
This fun library show features animal-themed magic using join-in fun, comedy, fancy themed backdrops, costume, and lots more. I’ve created an exciting and wonderful show just right for children and their parents who love to come to the library.
Three kids help defeat a six foot silk dragon! There’s a crazy routine with a hyperactive raccoon, a drawing of animal comes to life, and Larry the Alligator arrives to act out the entire plot of a book! On top of all of that, I reference specific stories and books as a way to generate interest in this year’s theme. I even show up dressed in a fun zookeeper costume! My long solid experience in performing library magic shows all over New York gives me the expertise to present a truly strong presentation. Kids and parents alike are always amazed at the fun magic, laughing at the silly antics (I make myself look pretty goofy at times) and enlightened by the educational stories. PLUS each child attending your library’s show will receive a FREE magic trick!!
If I’ve never visited your library before, rest assured, I’m the easiest performer you’ll ever host! I bring my own tables, my own PA system and microphone, and come prepared to present the show virtually anywhere! My set-up time is around 30 minutes so I can come in quickly, draw a big crowd for your event, and leave the audience hungry for stacks of books…all while you set back and relax, because I don’t need or expect any kind of ‘star treatment’ or hand-holding. You’ve got enough to do, so when I come in, you don’t have to lift a finger to help me prepare for my show.
Don’t forget – if for any reason you are unhappy with the quality of my performance, you pay nothing…and I’ll even donate $500 to your library just for wasting your time! Try finding another library presenter with THAT kind of guarantee! Don’t worry though: in nearly 20 years of professional work, no one has EVER taken me up on my guarantee!
Contact me for full details!
In addition to his custom summer reading program show, Cris also offers other themed shows for libraries including:
“Spooky Magic” – A Fun-Filled Family Halloween Magic Show!
For any group that enjoys the innocent fun of Halloween, this is the perfect show for your event! Click HERE for more details!
“Christmas Magic” – A Fun-Filled Family Christmas Magic Show!
In “Christmas Magic”, school assembly presenter and magician Cris Johnson presents fun magic tricks wrapped up in holiday cheer, and tied with a comedy ribbon! Click HERE for more details!
“I Love to Read” – A Fun-Filled, All-Purpose Reading Appreciation Library Show!
A Fun-Filled, All-Purpose Reading Appreciation Library Show! Perfect for children 5-12 and any fun-loving adults! Click HERE for more details!
“A Cat and a Hat” – A Wacky Seuss-Themed Library Program
Kids help Horton HATCH an egg, turn a green cloth into Oobleck, see a Cat In A Hat magically change into a Thing, see a drawing of the Cat come to life and more! Click HERE for more details!
Attention YA & Teen Library Specialists:
Could you use a great program for Young Adults? Sure you could.
Do you want to draw more teens into the library? Sure you do!
“Mind Control: Fact or Fiction?”
Can the human mind be influenced, guided, persuaded…or even controlled? For decades, movies, television, radio, and books have featured fantastical characters exerting mind control over other people. – Click HERE to learn more!
A GHOSTLY YA & Adult Interactive Program that features tales of haunted locations in New York State. Guests will handle strange artifacts and may even witness evidence of a spirit! Click HERE to learn more!
“Cris presented a great show. The kids were in stitches. He incorporated the NYS Summer Reading theme and even recommended books on that theme for the kids to read. Cris encouraged a lot of audience participation which enhanced the performance even more. I will definitely ask him to come back again.”
Wolcott Civic Free Library Central Library
“Thank you for an amazing morning with the McGraw community. We enjoyed your engaging show that kept older and younger students laughing and willing to participate. Thank you for incorporating the Libraries Rock theme and the book ideas into your time with us! Have a great summer.”
Lamont Memorial Free Library
“Cris has been doing shows for us at the Niagara Falls Public Library for years now, and it is a pleasure working with him. His programs (we’ve had him do magic shows and the Wacky Science Show) are crowd-pleasers, enjoyed by children and adults alike. This year we had the Wacky Science Show, and I had a parent comment that her children were still talking about it days later. Aside from the high quality of the presentation – from content to sets to audio – I like that the entire process is worry-free. Cris is very responsive, proactive and professional – things like touching base several days before the performance and arriving an hour early to set up. I think every librarian’s worst nightmare is a performer who is a no-show or who shows up late (and unfortunately, too many of us have lived this scenario!) You don’t have to worry about this with Cris!”
Niagara Falls Public Library
Niagara Falls, NY
“Dear Cris, Great job at the Ransomville Library summer reading program. I especially liked that you made mention throughout your program the themes for this year’s summer reading program: using SPORTS and NUTRITION as the “magic words” needed to make the magic work: the need to go outside and exercise to develop your brain and make it stronger instead of sitting in front of the TV: the importance of the library as a source of books and information; your attention to these themes helped to reinforce the use of the library and the importance of reading. Thank you!”
Friends of the Ransomville Library
“This show was very engaging and interactive – a lot of the children wanted to help with the tricks! Cris used a lot of sports and fitness magic to encourage kids to read and be active while stressing the 2016 theme of ‘On Your Mark, Get Set, READ’ He used a lot of fun magic, including a magic talking sketchpad, to encourage the kids to visit the library, read, and be active over the summer. Cris was so engaging with the children, encouraging them to ask questions and participate. Thank you!”
Merrie Haumann, Library Staff Member
Ahira Hall Memorial Library
“Thank you so very much for such a great program! A good time was had by all, including the adults attending. You did such a wonderful job engaging the children in every aspect of you program. I haven’t had a group of summer readers squealing and laughing so much! I had one little girl wish your program had lasted three hours. They all said it went by so quickly. Everyone who attended, even the parents watching from outside the door all said you were just Wonderful! Thanks again.”
Anna English, Library Director
Barbara Moscato Brown Memorial Library
“Cris’s show was fun and educational. It was perfect for the 2016 Summer Reading Program theme of ‘On Your Mark…Get Set…Read!’”
Sallie Ditzel, Librarian
“Cris was very engaging! He had the children roaring and screaming one minute and then looking on in awe quietly the next. I like being able to work with someone who is professional, courteous, prompt, and fun. It just makes life easier! With Cris Johnson, you get the whole package. You would be wise to book him as fast as you can!”
Suzanne Schauf, Library Manager
Hollwedel Memorial Library
“The audience enjoyed your interactive and funny magic show. It was suitable for younger and older (adult) patrons, everyone thought the show was amazing. All of the magic books we put on display were checked out after the program. The show was amazing, awesome and we would love to have you back again.”
Tanya Taylor, Children’s Librarian
Geneva Public Library
“Very engaging with one LARGE group of kids at Steele Library. Cris kept them entertained even at the beginning, while waiting for everyone to arrive and be seated. The kids loved the interactive, fun performance and we appreciate how Cris kept our library’s summer theme as the focus! Highly recommended!”
Janet Ackerman, Children’s Librarian
Steele Memorial Library
“Hi Cris, all the participants had nothing but good things to say about the program and they loved the take-home magic trick. Staff could hear the laughter of the audience all the way out at the reference desk and I believe that is the mark of a successful program. We look forward to having you again.”
Jennifer Villa, Librarian
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library
“Cris was great to work with, very easy going, and great with staff and patrons. He interacted with all of the children and held the audience’s attention, both young and old. The show was captivating, stimulating, and truly enjoyable. I would recommend Cris Johnson to any library for any age group. I can’t wait to have him back again!”
Amanda Farley, Librarian
Horseheads Free Library
“Cris Johnson’s building and construction show had great enthusiasm and had many of the children laughing the whole show! Many of the library patrons expressed how much they enjoyed the show and thought it was a great time for the whole family! It was a pleasure working with Cris and the communication was super and professional. We would love to have Cris again at our library! thank you so much!
Ashley Moyer, Clerk
Town of Collins Public Library
“I have had Cris Johnson come to my library for 3 different programs. 2 were for children and one was a teen/adult program. Cris is always the professional, and really knows how to interact with children and adults alike. He brings a great sense of humor and a show that just flows. Before you know it, the show is over and you are asking yourself where the time went. I have Cris booked for another show in October and I cannot wait. Kudos Cris, you are a true performer and I thank you for your wonderful shows.”
Glenice Peel, Manager
Big Flats Branch Library
Big Flats, New York
“The audience laughed and cheered as Cris amazed everyone with his magic! Cris was also professional and easy to work with. Thanks for visiting our library!”
Sarah Mattews, Children’s Librarian
“Cris, your performance was fantastic, just marvelous! It was a show both children and adults really enjoyed and laughed the entire time! Asking and getting the children to participate in most of the magic routines and stunts really livened the crowd! Your show definitely will be one to remember here at the Seneca Nation Library, and we thank you so very much for coming. We very much would like to invite you back for upcoming programs and events with more of your shows!”
Veronica Cook, Librarian
Seneca Nation Of Indians Library
“This is an engaging, fast-paced program! Kids found Cris hilarious! Good interaction with the kids. We look forward to having another program from Cris Johnson.”
Shannon Jakubowski, Librarian
Marilla Free Library
“Cris Johnson was one of my favorite performers that I had the pleasure of working with in my 42 year library career. I have used Cris’s talents more times that I can count, not only for children, for teens and adults as well. Cris is always professional, always keeps in touch with you about the upcoming date and arrives in plenty of time to set up and be ready to greet the crowds that come to see him. The patrons (no matter their age) LOVE him and always come back running back when they hear it’s Cris that will be performing. Now that I am retiring, I will be watching the library newsletter to see where he will be and I look forward to watching his show as a regular patron.”
Glenice Peel, Manager
Big Flats Library
Big Flats, New York
“I just want to thank you again for a lively and entertaining magic and music show! It is hard to pick a favorite part as it was all so much fun:) I really appreciated how you promoted the importance of reading and visiting the library throughout your performance. Thank you for recommending some specific music-themed book titles as well. Everyone, adults and children alike, left with smiles on their faces which is always wonderful to see! “The Goofy, Kooky, Magic and Music Show” was a great way to conclude our 2018 Children’s Summer Reading Program! Thanks again!”
Christine LaTerra, MLS
Librarian I-Youth Services Librarian
Red Jacket Community Library
“Cris Johnson’s magic show had my patrons laughing at his silly antics and wowed by his magic. Every child and parent had a smile on their face when they left the show! Cris is a great person to work with and have had him visit numerous times doing many different children’s shows. He knows how to entertain! Thank you for making my summer reading kick-off special!”
Byron-Bergen Public Library
“I received feedback from some staffers who were very impressed with your professionalism(stage props, business related coordination, personality, etc), program content, AND your thorough research/knowledge/implementation of all references to the library and its collections…(and also your wonderful and engaging presence with an audience)…Bravo! We will absolutely be keeping you in our future top two options. Keep up the great work in comparison to your competitors.”
Glenn Luba, Director
Cheektowaga Public Libraries
“Cris’ “ Spaced out Magic Show” was excellent. He related well to the audience, both young and old, and really tied it to the theme of this year’s Summer Reading Program theme. The communication between the two of us was timely and thorough. I wouldn’t hesitate to invite him back.”
Stephanie Gehrig, President
Mt. Morris Library Board
Mt. Morris, NY
“As always, it was a pleasure to have you and the Spaced Out Magic Show at the Ahira Hall Memorial Library. You had such amazing energy and kept the audience, especially the children, engaged and entertained. You are a favorite of the library and the Brocton-Portland Community.”
Merrie Hanmann, MLIS, Assistant Director
Ahira Hall Memorial Library
“Great program, high energy, great audience participation and response. I loved the astronaut jumpsuit, great tie in to the summer reading theme!”
Kristine Sutton, Library Director
Newstead Public Library