Dizzy mad scientist

Dizzy the Clown and her "mad scientist" assistant watch on as their alien toothpaste foams out of its tube during her Blast off with Books show Friday. The show at Hub Coffees was part of the Ottumwa Public Library Summer Reading Program.

OTTUMWA — Kids were excited to blast off their summer with Dizzy the Clown Friday.

The Ottumwa Public Library opened up its line-up of summer programs with “Blast Off with Reading” at the Hub Coffee shop.

As chairs filled up in the auditorium, kids began to find seats on the floor as they waited for the show. Then, it was time for blast off.

Dizzy appeared on screen from outer space as she approached Earth. But, she warned the kids, “I’m being chased by aliens. One of the aliens has landed on Earthy and is with you right now disguised as a kid.”

She promised the crowd she’d help them locate the alien when she arrived. Then it was time for the countdown. When the crowd reached one, she appeared on stage.

“Well, I’m a little dizzy,” she quipped after she landed.

As she opened the show, she invited all the kids to sign up for the library’s summer reading program. “You’re going to be reading anyway, so why not get prizes for it?” she encouraged.

Then she introduced three key words for her program to the audience with the help of some books. She showed them a book on spaceships. “They’re built at a place in Florida named NASA,” she said. NASA was one of the words she told them they needed to remember.

Then came a book on the moon. “Fifty years ago this year the very first person stepped on the moon,” Dizzy informed the kids. His name was Neil Armstrong, she told them, and played a recording of his famous line: “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong was the second key word they needed to remember.

Then she showed them a book on astronauts and told them about a passage on gravity, the third and final key word for the day. “Gravity pulls things down to the ground,” she said.

Dizzy gravity

Dizzy the Clown attempts to defy gravity by making the rope stay up in the air with no support. Her first several attempts didn't work, while this one stuck. Gravity was one of three key words during her Blast of with Books show Friday morning at Hub Coffee as part of the Ottumwa Public Library Summer Reading Program.

She then used some magic tricks to defy gravity, including one where she said peanut butter and jelly would turn invisible, fly through the air and switch places — all while dropping on two pieces of plan bread in a sack held by an audience volunteer. It was a successful experiment that got that crowd excited.

“Now, I’m going to look for the alien,” she said. She took a special tool out and walked through the crowd until it indicated the alien had been located. She took him to the stage and performed a couple of tests to confirm the theory. She made him identifiable by making a balloon crown with an alien face for him to wear the rest of the show.

Dizzy alien

Dizzy the Clown performs tests — and magic tricks — on the "alien" she found in the crowd, who was disguised as a kid. She made him a balloon animal hat as a marker of his true identity.

Then she invited someone “super duper brave” to the stage. “We’re going to do a dangerous experiment,” she told the volunteer. “You’re going to be like my crazy scientist that’s going to help me.”

She had him don a lab jacket, gloves, goggles and and Einstein-like wig for the creation of alien toothpaste. She warned the crowd that it was poisonous and not something to do at home.

Dizzy proceeded to combine several ingredients with her “mad scientist” adding green food coloring. With the final ingredient added to the tube, the ingredients foamed up and out of the cylinder to cries of amazement from the watching kids.

Then it was time for the final quiz. Three more volunteers were brought up from the audience to answer questions regarding the key words from the beginning of the program. One of the kids, eager to answer, continued to shout the answers without ringing in, to the amusement of the crowd. The winner took home real space food with the other two contestants receiving mini Milky Ways.

As Dizzy closed her show, she had one final message for the crowd: “Kids, Blast off with Books this summer and read lots of books. Have a wonderful, wonderful summer!”

Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at tgoldizen@ottumwacourier.com or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.

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Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's magazine editor, leading production of "Ottumwa Life," the award-winning "Business People" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.