Sellwood entertainer sparks Midway Library reading program

See this wacky, world-traveling variety artist in action, as he helps engage kids in the County’s Summer Reading Program …

Emerging as “Dr. Henrik Bothe” – this variety entertainer fascinates his audience as “the four-legged man”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Although he now hails from the Sellwood neighborhood, Henrik Bothe grew up and studied to be an engineer in Denmark. However, his talents as a variety artist and physical comedian have taken him and his act all over the world.

And, his variety arts act featuring balancing, juggling, and magic brought him to Midland Library on June 24 as part of the Multnomah County Library’s 2009 Summer Reading Program.

Bothe pauses while juggling three clubs to show his balancing prowess.

“Their Summer Reading Program is well organized,” Bothe commented, as he prepared for his show. “I strive to present a show that makes both the kids and the parents laugh. These programs help draw families to the library during the summer.”

Bothe said his program is designed to connect kids with reading books. “This is good, because anything that you can connect with not sitting in front of a computer screen is good. From books, kids can learn to juggle, do magic tricks – and learn to have some good healthy fun. My program helps make them aware of all the things that they can learn from books at the library.”

Bothe’s little helper, Violet, tosses him juggling clubs while he rides his unicycle.

During the show – after doing juggling stunts and magic tricks – Bothe reminds his audience that it costs nothing to study, or borrow, library books on all kinds of topics.

Soon, kids join in the act – tossing  him objects to juggle, learning how to spin a beach ball on their fingertips, and how to do plate-spinning.

“I love to make people laugh,” Bothe explained. “That’s why I love doing what I do.  And it doesn’t hurt when you can make a living at it – that makes my wife laugh and smile.”

Good thing this room has a high ceiling! Towering high above his audience, Bothe shows how one can learn to ride a unicycle and juggle at the same time – by reading books.

Be sure to check our Community Calendar for more fun family shows and activities at your local Multnomah County library branch. And you can learn more about Bothe by visiting his website:

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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