Imagine if you mixed a book lover, a storyteller, a puppeteer, a magician, a dad, a bit of folksiness, whimsy and magic, then shook it a bit - out would come Mark Daniel, an exuberant ambassador for children's books!
Over the past 20 plus years, Mark has been a special guest to schools throughout the Eastern US. Year after year he beats the drums for great children's books day in and day out as a Reading Ambassador. Indeed, his passion for reading, interest, and knowledge of children's books is genuine and infectious. His wife Tami and he began reading aloud to their now 18 year old twin sons when they were born. (Incidentally both Robert and Stephen have always read well above their grade level.)
The thousands of school visits started modestly at the Davie County Library in Mocksville, NC where a wonderful children's librarian, Olivia Husk, took an interest in a young Mark supplying him for years with an unbelievable treasure trove of books on his topic of interest at the time, magic tricks (through interlibrary loans from all over the state).
Today, as a Reading Ambassador and magical storyteller, Mark presents nearly 200 programs annually for schools, libraries, and literacy festivals up and down the East coast.
Mark was invited and has twice performed at The White House for The Easter Egg Roll. As this traditional event is for families with young children, this "Command Performance" is considered a high honor for children's performers.
For the past Twenty-seven summers, Mark has annually written and developed new, original presentations for the Public Library Summer Reading Program.
Mark coined the term "magical storyteller" for his unique approach to "bringing books magically to life" which has brought worldwide acclaim by peers as a mentor, consultant and guru on the topic. Many top pros credit his video Book Magic as a stepping stone to their success. He has often been invited to conferences as a seminar presenter for children's entertainers on the art of performing for children.
Mark and Tami, are the directors of KIDabra International, an association that each August during it's conference, attracts hundreds of children's entertainers who gather from around the world for educational seminars and shows. Learn more atwww.KIDabra.org. They are also the editors of the association magazine,The KIDabra Journal. In August, 2011 they were recipients of the prestigious Merlin Award an international recognition for their work with KIDabra.
Several years ago KIDabra International adopted the wonderful Imagination Library as their charity project. Dolly Parton's program which has helped over 1700 communities throughout the US, Canada and England get great books to kids once a month from the time they're born until they are 5 years old at no cost to their parents. Mark got to know the folks at The Dollywood Foundation and saw the program working as he traveled. He was awed by the positive achievements and now shares his enthusiasm for the project during his Family Reading Night presentations. Full info at imaginationlibrary.com
Through years of performing, Mark has studied, developed, and refined techniques for entertaining and motivating children, which have garnered praise throughout the educational community. Mark's original series of performances, Those Magical Dinosaurs! and the READasaurus Programs have been seen by over three million elementary school students throughout the Eastern US during the past 20 plus years.
Mark and Tami reside out in the countryside near Mocksville, NC with their identical teenage twin sons, Robert and Stephen. Plus a rabbit named Wallie and several friendly country cats who have adopted the Daniel family.