Strip back the banter, cut out the clowning around and entertainer Adrian Kirk's message is simple - reading rocks.
As part of the Milson School's Book Week, Kirk delivered an hour-long interactive performance promoting the merits of reading to a crowd of primary school-aged pupils yesterday.
Whether it's juggling, unicycling or making tasty treats, Kirk told them he has discovered everything he knows from books.
He had difficulties reading when he was young and found he learned more if his teachers injected a bit of humour into his classes - a concept he uses in performances.
By combining his background as a circus entertainer with his love of reading, Kirk's performance appealed to pupils, principal Vanessa Pitt said.
"He is one of the few people that had nearly 100 per cent of the kids engaged for the whole time - that's a mean feat," she said.
"He had a fantastic message about reading, but he balanced that with being funny and doing all the typical things kids love - he fell over and he juggled and he made jokes."
Milson celebrated literacy and learning through its Book Week, and Kirk's message was well timed, Pitt said.
"It was interesting the teachers were talking afterwards and the message had gotten through to even five-year-olds, who were saying: ‘Oh, it doesn't matter if you make a mistake, you just keep trying and read it again'.
"You need reading to find about anything you want to do, and that's a message we're trying to push all the time with kids and he really reinforced that."
- Manawatu Standard
Are you enrolled to vote?Related story: 8000 still to enrol