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Giovanni Livera and Ken Preuss offer a unique blend of expertise on the subject of entertaining kids. If their careers were combined as one, their resume would include stints as a preschool employee, a clown, a summer camp counselor, an award-winning magician, a theatrical performer, a children's television host, a children's playwright, a motivational speaker, and a middle school teacher. Their free time has long been dedicated to their families where they have fulfilled the roles of loving son, devoted husband, favorite uncle, and a doting father. The variety of performing venues has provided the authors with great insight. The love of their families has provided them with true inspiration. The Amazing Dad: More than 400 Ways to Wow the Kids is a celebration of both. The Amazing Dad has over 300 illustrations by cartoonist Rob Smith Jr.
Giovanni Livera combined his love for both magic and performance to become one of the most sought-after corporate entertainers in the nation. His creativity and talent have propelled him to accomplish what only four other magicians in the world have ever achieved: the cherished Gold Cups Award, bestowed by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, for excellence in the art of close-up magic. Before entering the corporate market, Giovanni honed his skills by performing over 1,000 children's magic shows. He also wrote and hosted his own children's television show, Giovanni's Birthday Big Top. Today, his love of life, impeccable comedic timing, and ability to perform absolute miracles with the simplest of objects make each and every member of his audience feel like a kid again. His enthusiasm and optimistic approach are the cornerstones of "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!," Giovanni's motivational program that teaches audiences that they too can achieve astonishing results personally and professionally. Giovanni's inspiration for The Amazing Dad stems from his wonderful relationship with his father, as well as from the great number of businessmen who have taken him aside during public speaking events begging him to share a secret or two which will enable them to amaze their kids. Giovanni gives more than 150 presentations annually. His clients include Ace Hardware, American Express, Century 21, Dell computer, Delta Airlines, Ford Motor Company, General Mills, Metropolitan Life, the National Basketball Association, Nations Bank, Nickelodeon Studios, Pepsi Cola Corporation, Systems and Computer Technology, Walt Disney Corporation, Westinghouse, and Xerox.
For more information on Giovanni's amazing shows and motivational programs go to his web site at www.wowmom.com
Ken Preuss has been around kids his entire life. After an energetic and enjoyable childhood, he has spent most of his adult life reliving his youth with children of various ages. Volunteering at a pre-school while in college, Ken spent his free time within the wondrous world of two-year olds. Adapting to their way of thinking and adopting their outlook on life, he learned many keys to creative play and discovered his true talent for entertaining and enlightening the young. Later, as a camp counselor, Ken spent three summers creating games and activities for the playing field, the playground, and the public pool. Ken's love of performing led him to a seven-year career as a professional children's entertainer. With his mix of magic, juggling, and comedy, Ken was a regular at birthday parties, company picnics, and corporate conventions. Sponsored by the National Basketball Association's Orlando Magic, Ken helped create Reading, It's Magic, an educational and entertaining program that he took to elementary schools and libraries throughout Florida. Ken's interaction with children also involved two tours as an actor with professional children's theater troupes. In the first tour, Ken visited high schools as part of a program that inspired teens to use their personalities and talents to find their place in the world. The second tour brought classic stories to elementary schools and allowed Ken to interact with the audience in a series of leading roles. After directing several local children's plays, Ken recently began writing for the theater. His plays for teens, Spy TV and Wishful Thinking, are available through Contemporary Publishing. Another play, Transitions, is performed each year as part of a program encouraging students to take their education to the college level. In 1998, the Transitions program was awarded first prize in a competition for college recruiting practices. Ken received a liberal arts degree from the University of Central Florida, and teaches language arts, drama, and television production at the middle school level. He dedicates most of his free time to being an Amazing Dad to his four-year old son, Jaret.
Rob Smith Jr.
Born in Orlando, Florida, Rob Smith began drawing at a young age. His fourth grade art teacher, Nancy Krebsbach, first noticed his work, and it was her support along with the support of his family that started Rob on the way to his future career. Rob began to draw professionally at the age of 16, drawing caricatures at various Florida attractions. He received professional training at Ringling School of Art, Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, and at Rollins College where he earned a degree in Philosophy and political science. Rob went to work with the City of Orlando in 1985 as an artist and draftsman. In 1992, he began creating award-winning editorial cartoons for the Winter Park Observer. In 1998, he became the editorial cartoonist for Discovery, a monthly Central Florida newspaper. Still working for the City of Orlando, the Observer, and Discovery, Rob also draws caricatures at Walt Disney World, conventions, and private parties. Rob's work had appeared locally and nationally in advertisements, comic strips, coloring books, and comic books. His favorite past time is volunteering as a motivational speaker, bringing stories and cartoons to schools and civic organizations. A member of the National Cartoonists Society, the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, and The National Caricaturist Network, Rob's work can be seen throughout The Amazing Dad and on his website at www.robsmithjr.com.