The Texas Book Festival is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 26 with tons of free, family fun for kids of all ages! At this annual event, authors and book lovers take over the grounds of the Texas State Capitol to share the joy of reading. These two days are jam-packed with all kinds of activities, food, book signings, story times, author sessions and a whole lot more. Plus, attending the fest is free!


There are three main kid-focused sections of the Book Festival: The children’s activity tent, the  entertainment tent, and the “read me a story” tent. Check out the schedule for family-friendly activities happening during the fest:

Saturday, Oct. 25:

–> Children’s Activity Tent:

  • 10- 11 a.m.–Austin Dog Alliance: Meet the Bow Wow Reading Dogs
  • 11 a.m.- noon–Storybook Character Fashion Show: Come dressed as your favorite storybook character and walk the runway
  • 1- 2 p.m.–All Over the Alphabet: Fun with alphabet activities, crafts and stories with Rawson Saunders teachers
  • 2- 3 p.m.–TLA Presents 2x the Fun: Learn how to expand your child’s reading experiences with fun activities you can both share after reading award-winning Texas 2×2 books

–> Children’s Entertainment Tent:

  • 10- 11 a.m.–Magician Ken Cummins puts on an unforgettable show that’s sure to entertain audience members of any age
  • 11 a.m.- noon–“I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”: Presented by Thomas Hellman and Emilie Clepper
  • Noon- 1 p.m.–Lucas Miller, The Singing Zoologist
  • 1- 2 p.m.–Kathi Appelt presents Mogie: The Heart of the House
  • 2- 3 p.m.–Boitumelo: Songs and Stories of South Africa: Presented by Rochelle Raboui
  • 3- 4 p.m.–Joaquin Hancock and the Hancock Family Band with Chataqua
  • 4- 5 p.m.–Knights of Steel: A returning Festival favorite, the McCallum High School steel band entertains with its musical stylings

–> Children’s Read Me a Story Tent

  • 10- 10:30 a.m.–Erzsi Deak reads Pumpkin Time
  • 10:30 – 11 a.m.–Pat Mora and Libby Martinez read from I Pledge Allegiance
  • 11-11:30 a.m.–Aree Chung reads selections from Ninja!
  • 11:30- noon–Shannon and Dean Hale read from their book The Princess in Black
  • Noon- 12:30 p.m.–Mac Barnett reads from his book Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
  • 12:30- 1 p.m.–London Ladd reads from his book Under the Freedom Tree
  • 1- 1:30 p.m.–Bluebonnet Master List Announcement
  • 1:30- 2 p.m.–Monica Brown reads from Conoces a Pablo Picasso
  • 2- 2:30 p.m.–Tad Carpenter reads from Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop
  • 2:30- 3 p.m.–Andrea Beaty reads from Happy Birthday, Madame Chapeau
  • 3- 3:30 p.m.–Keith Graves reads from The Monsterator
  • 3:30 – 4 p.m.–Lorisse’s Dog Training
  • 4- 4:30 p.m.–John Rocco reads Blizzard
  • 4:30- 5 p.m.–Diane Gonzales Bertrand reads from Cecilia and Miguel are Best Friends/Cecilia y Miguel son mejores amigos

Sunday, Oct. 26:

–> Children’s Activity Tent:

  • 11 a.m.- noon–Create a Calavera! Get ready for Dia de los Muertos by coloring or crafting your own paper calavera
  • Noon- 3 p.m.–KLRU/PBS: Kids Transmedia Demonstration Station
  • 3:15- 3:45 p.m.–Made By You! Come by to create your own Texas Book Festival souvenirs

–> Children’s Entertainment Tent

  • 11 a.m.- noon–Hand to Mouth Puppet Theatre: puppeteer, painter, graphic artist, costume designer, and book illustrator Ellen Turner Scott amazes with the art of puppetry
  • Noon- 1 p.m.–The Biscuit Brothers: the hosts of the EMMY Award-winning PBS kids’ music and education program will capture all that’s best about children’s music
  • 1- 2 p.m.–Joe McDermott: “the maestro of imagination”
  • 2- 3 p.m.–Mr. Will Dupuy

–> Children’s Read Me a Story Tent

  • 11- 11:30 a.m.–Barbara Renaud Gonzalez reads from The Boy Made of Lightning
  • 11:30-noon–Penguin Party: Molly Idle reads from her book, Flora and the Penguin
  • Noon- 12:30 p.m.–Penguin Party: Melissa Guion reads from her book, Baby Penguins Love Their Mama
  • 12:30 – 1 p.m.–Poetry Fun with Rawson Saunders: the Rawson Saunders Writer’s Workshop is an intensive writing program for middle and upper school students, and they will be reading selected works of their free verse poetry
  • 1- 1:30 p.m.–The Young Writers Award
  • 1:30 – 2 p.m.–Chris Barton reads from Attack! Boss! Cheat Code
  • 2- 2:30 p.m.–Ziggy Marley reads from his book I Love You Too
  • 2:30 – 3 p.m.–Carolyn Dee Flores and Rene Saldana, Jr. read from their book Dale, dle, dale: Una fiesta de numeros / Hit It, Hit It, Hit It: A Fiesta of Numbers
  • 3- 3:30 p.m.–Divya Srinivasan reads from her book Little Owl’s Day

Screen-Shot-2014-10-07-at-1.32.03-PM–> New at the Festival this year:
Kids can try the Where’s Waldo scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt checklist entry forms can be picked up in the Children’s Activity Tent, and there will be several large Waldo cut-outs scattered throughout the Festival grounds for children to find as well as a real-life Waldo making several appearances, popping in and out of venues. All participants get a sticker when they finish and will have their names entered to win a Waldo deluxe prize pack. Two lucky kiddos will win prize packs, and there will also be Where’s Waldo books available for purchase.

–> Getting Around the Festival
The Texas Book Festival website has plenty of information including events for grown-ups, where to park, a festival grounds map, food vendors, and more.

Go have a great time!