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Dantastic Blog!

Bad Cake! Very Bad Cake!

I kicked off my final week of the Reading Road Trip with a visit to the Fort Dodge Public Library. Every week there is a summer reading secret password and I was honored to discover that today it was IPTV!


Coming up with a weekly password is such a difficult task that three of the finest lab rats from Password University are on retainer to help.


After story time, Doctor Sam Schnauzer, renowned canine professor, was available to give a short presentation on the microscopic bacteria that are responsible for doggy breath.


Before leaving town, I had to pop in to see the brand new International Robot Museum. As you would suspect, I was in robot heaven.


When I arrived at the Rockwell City Public Library, I discovered a couple of the robots from Fort Dodge had followed me. Oh well, the more the merrier!


My new electronic friends fit in perfectly with the human families during story time.


To celebrate my final week, the librarians baked me a special cake! However, with today’s humid heat, it spoiled pretty quickly.


On the way out of the town I encountered a few “supermen” who were working on some landscaping. Isn’t it appropriate that a big rock is exactly what a town named Rockwell City needs!


Dan’s Wise Advice of the Day: If you play volleyball versus a sore-loser squid, you’d better be prepared to be inked if you win!

Mister and Miss Squirt!

It appeared this morning would be just another normal visit to the Waterloo Public Library.


However, I noticed a few of the kids seemed to be infected with some kind of aggressive brain fungus.


After a quick search, I located the source of the infection. The librarians had not cleaned their fish tank in a long time, and mutated slime was growing out of it.


No one needed to panic because I had a plan! A few well-placed bags of flaming destruction eradicated the bio-hazard for good.


As I pulled into the Nashua Public Library, I was greeted by none other than Mister and Miss Squirt.


As you can imagine, with such royalty in attendance, everyone was being screened before entering the library. Apparently, I was such a security risk that I had to be double arm-banded.


Just like in Great Britain, any time the royal family shows up to an event, so do the crowds.


Afterwards, to celebrate the final Friday of the Reading Road Trip, I broke down and accepted a “sometimes snack.” Ice cream never tasted so good!


Dan’s Wise Advice of the Day: Always make sure you are licensed, bonded, and insured before attempting to jump your motorcycle through a burning ring of doom!

Baby Dino!

This morning, the sign at the Mason City Public Library said “SPARK a Reaction!” So, of course, I tried to do exactly as it said.


Unfortunately, my “spark” caused a little bigger reaction than anyone was expecting.


Somehow I accidentally transformed one of the library’s houseplants into a strange abomination.


Luckily, my damage was easily undone thanks to the help of the librarians and some reversal potions that they had on hand.


Later, the kids showed up to the Lake Mills Public Library in great numbers!


The crowd taught me that if you stick your tongue out, it increases your chances of being noticed.


After story time, I had the honor of signing my very first cast of the summer.


Before I left, the librarians offered me juice, tea, and coffee. I politely declined. Can you imagine what I would be like with sugar and caffeine racing through my veins?


My last stop on today’s voyage was the Swaledale Public Library.


As I was reading a short pamphlet about the history of the town, I learned that they still have dinosaurs roaming around.


It was hard to believe the ancient thunder lizards were not extinct, but the librarian showed me an actual dinosaur egg.


And, I certainly wouldn’t have believed the egg was real, but then it hatched the cutest baby dino you ever did see!


Dan’s Wise Advice of the Day: Sticking your hand into a snapping turtle’s nest and performing an impromptu finger puppet play is never a good idea!


It’s hard to believe, but every year the Decorah Public Library allows me to perform story time in their Adult Reading Lounge! This morning was no different!


The upper level is also home to fancy museum-quality art! There, you can stare all you want, just as long as you don’t touch.


The best part of being in the grown-up section of the library is that it is easy to find dads willing to groove out.


Perhaps the theme for this summer should have been “Fizz! Boom! Read! Dance!”


My next stop was at the Robey Memorial Library in Waukon. They recently remodeled their building and I’m thankful that in all of the construction, no harm was done to these vintage Sesame Street puppets!


As I was doing some light reading, I had this strange feeling I was being watched. Indeed, I was, and it was by an unusually named cow!


A local geneticist who looked peculiarly like Walter Matthau had been experimenting with a bovine-enlarging serum. I’d have to say that Tippie truly qualifies as an enlarged cow.


Thankfully, I didn’t need to use any scientific concoctions to grow the size of these muscles!


My final story time of the day was shared with the fine rascals at the Fort Atkinson Public Library.


I made the mistake of confusing the boy in the George Washington hat with a pirate.


As a result, our very first President of the United States ordered me off to the stockades.


Luckily, thanks to good behavior and my hard work in the cafeteria, the guards let me out of my cell just in time to perform my story!


Dan’s Wise Advice of the Day: Lollipops, gum, and porcupines should never be stored under your pillow!

The Interdimensional Rip!

This morning, several people at the Marion Public Library asked me how it is that I can get kids to line up with enthusiasm to check out books?


Some people think it is via some type of swirly-lined hypnosis trick, but no, if you simply ask kids to read, they’ll read!


After story time I had a chance to meet the most depressed hamster in the world. She was sad because no one had filled up her kiddie pool.


After a quick phone call to the local bucket brigade, we had that pool full of water in no time!


I was greeted by two wacky scientists at my first afternoon stop at the Independence Public Library! They mistakenly thought I was a bike rider who was a week early for RAGBRAI.


As I thought about it, I’m not sure why the scientific community would be so excited about a bunch of cyclists coming through town.


Unless, of course, they were mad scientists, bent on turning all the visitors to the town into cake pans! You read about that stuff happening in the news all the time, but you never think it could happen to you!


Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to spend on such speculation! The crowd was ready for story time and there were tons of eager volunteers!


As I headed to my final stop of the day, which was also my hometown, I drove through some type of interdimensional rip in time. I quickly realized I had somehow aged 25 years or so. Luckily the effects were temporary.


Speaking of time travel, my fellow members of the Class of ‘94 agreed that even though we hadn’t changed, the town sure had upgraded the bathrooms in the Maynard Community Hall!


For old times’ sake, the town elders were even brave enough to let me ascend up the stairs toward the famous Community Hall stage!


Once there, I couldn’t help but sing a few show tunes with Miss Lezlie from the Maynard Public Library!

Maynard Two

Dan’s Wise Advice of the Day: A meatball with a teaspoon of lava in the center is the very definition of “that’s a spicy meatball!”

College Savings Iowa 529 Plan

Funding for the 2014 Reading Road Trip
has been provided by the
College Savings Iowa 529 Plan.