Bay Area magician Mike Della Penna will be returning to the Half Moon Bay Library for a free show at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 21, as part of the Summer Learning Challenge.
“We are happy to have Mike back performing with us again,” said Karen Choy, youth services librarian for the Half Moon Bay Library. “There is something about magicians that all kids love. They are pretty fun.”
Della Penna is a former Boston stand-up comic and a 20-year veteran of improv, as well as being a current third-grade teacher in Berkeley. His show is secretly written with Head Start curriculum in mind, but don’t worry, the kids will never know it.
“It’s all just exploratory. We are learning as we’re doing,” he said.
Kids will have opportunities to practice counting out loud and will also get fired up about reading during the performance. “I have a nice piece about reading, where kids are going away saying, ‘I can’t wait to read that.’”
Della Penna says this is not a challenging magic show in which he tries to show off all the difficult things that his young audience can’t do.
“I try to write pieces that explore that place where surprise and fun meet,” he said.
Della Penna returned to his childhood hobby of magic when he moved to the Bay Area in 2004 and has been wowing young audiences ever since with his laughter-filled, participatory magic shows.
He is known for his family-friendly delivery that is perfect for the 2- to-6-year-old crowd, but older siblings will also have a great time at the show. Reviewers say Della Penna’s warm demeanor can coax even the shyest child out of their shell and keep them engaged, interacting and laughing.