By TIM CLEVELAND
Attendees of Poland library on June 16 got something a little different as the library brought in “Mr. Puppet” Bob Abdou for one of his many puppet shows as part of the library’s summer science theme of “Fizz, Boom, Read.”
SDLqI begged,” Abdou joked when asked how he got the gig. “I just moved here [to Columbus] from Texas a couple years ago and I’ve been doing library work for 15 years. The library work is my bread and butter. When I moved here I contacted the library system and [Poland library manager of youth services] Jo [Nolfi] gave me a chance. She was so pleased with my show she brought me back again.”
Abdou is quite busy with his puppet shows, doing approximately 300 per year.
“I’ve been doing it for 20 years,” he said. “I did it in Atlanta. I worked with the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, which is one of the few museums in America dedicated to puppets. Puppets make people happy. There’s a lot of different types of puppetry. I wanted to be part of the show. I didn’t want to hide behind a curtain. I realized that’s what a ventriloquist is. That’s what I do; I became a ventriloquist.”
Lindsey Ambrosia of Hudson attended along with her mother Karen Yankle of Canfield, and her children, Dominic, Daniel and Elle.
“My kids love the library,” Ambrosia said. “The thing that I thought was cool about it was the puppets the little ones would like. My older 3-year-old likes the science experiments.”
Abdou has many puppets he uses for his shows. For Poland, he also did several science experiments for the library audience. He said his shows can be tailored for any audience.
“I tell people, [my act] is like America’s Got Talent without the judges,” he said. “They’ll see four or five different crazy acts. Some of them are short, some of them are long. They’re all designed for all different ages. Even the adults will be entertained. This isn’t a baby show.”