On Wednesday, March 2nd, in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday, Thomas H. Pruiksma performed his poet's magic at Park Orchard Elementary in Kent, Washington. He called this performance "Poetry is Everywhere," drawing on lines from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: "From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." Over four hundred and fifty students were in attendance along with their teachers, decked out in celebratory garb.
"It was a wonderful way to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday," said principal Christine Castillo. Teachers and students alike were beaming throughout the performance. It was the first of several activities planned that day for National Read Across America Day.
Pruiksma ended the show by performing his 100-foot rope escape—with a special twist. Rather than reciting "Casey at the Bat," as he does in his Houdini Meets Casey at the Bat, he recited "Green Eggs and Ham." Everyone got into the act, tying Pruiksma up, cheering their classmates on, and watching with mounting excitement as he finally made his escape. " I wasn't sure if he was going to make it out in time!" said Castillo. "It was very exciting."
Pruiksma seemed pleased with the show. "My favorite moment," he said, "was when I asked a volunteer to name one of his favorite words. Without hesitation, he said 'love.' So the name we gave the quarter that appeared in the closed box, the box that stands for a heart that's been closed tight, was love. It was perfect, just perfect."
The forty-five minute performance was sponsored by The Writers in the School Program of Seattle Arts and Lectures. As program manager Jeanine Walker wrote to the Poet's Magic following the assembly, "I think many children walked out of there yesterday having fallen in love with poetry. You gave them a major gift!"