Kids’ Book Fest

See photos of Kids’ Book Fest 2016 “Books, Naturally!” and more photos
See photos of Kids’ Book Fest 2015 Celebrating the World of Eric Carle!”
See photos of Kids’ Book Fest 2014 “Read, Play, Imagine”

Put on your own Kids’ Book Fest!  Here are some ideas!

Kids’ Book Fest was held annually in Ithaca, NY from 1998 to 2016 and continues to be an event in many other communities in New York State and around the country!


Kids’ Book Fest is a community-wide celebration that brings parents and children together around excitement for children’s books. The festival can include art, entertainment, and activities all based on books. Local authors can be showcased. Community organizations can be invited to host a story-related book station. Read-aloud environments based on books can be set up for children to visit, and book characters can walk around the Fest promoting specific books. Food and books can be made available for festival-goers to purchase. All activities bring children’s books to life for families and connect them with the joy of reading aloud.


A theme can be chosen and a specific author and book featured based on the theme. Festival activities can be planned to bring the chosen book to life for children. The featured book could be offered to schools at a very reduced price, labeled with a bookplate promoting reading, and accompanied by a letter from the author to children. There are many ways to make books come alive for families!

Goals and Objectives

To increase home, school, community engagement with children¹s literature as a way to elevate the status of books and reading.



  • Heighten interest in books and family reading
  • Involve families that have not yet connected with the pleasure of books
  • Create new ways to get books into the hands, homes, and hearts of children
  • Collect used books for the Bright Red Bookshelf to increase supply available for families
  • Create take home elements that will encourage family involvement with books


  • Encourage teachers to use books interactively in the classroom
  • Circulate Kids’ Book Fest storybook settings, costumes, & props for students to enjoy during the year
  • Continue to build partnerships with schools


  • Come together as a community to celebrate children’s literature
  • Involve community organizations in Family Reading Partnership efforts
  • Involve community individuals in furthering our mission
  • Gain visibility for the issues, efforts, and mission of FRP with this creative event

Some ideas!! Kids’ Book Fest in Ithaca, NY, by year with tag lines, themes, and featured books:

1998 Children’s Literature Festival *dragons* My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Gannett Kahn
1999 Going Buggy with Books *crawling creatures* The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
2000 Read Around The World *multicultural* HUSH! by Minfong Ho
2001 Reading Together is Out of this World *space* Nova’s Ark by David Kirk
2002 Read to Me- Any Time, Any Place *community* Read to Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells
2003 Bloom With Books *gardening and flowers* Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
2004 Feast on Books *food* Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
2005 On the Move with Books *transportation* The Bus for Us by Suzanne Bloom
2006 Wild About Books *animals* Wild About Books by Judy Sierra
2007 At Home with Books *homes* At Home with Books by Katrina Morse
2008 Adventure by Book *adventure* My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
2009 Put a Poem in Your Pocket *poetry* My Village: Rhymes from Around the World collected by Danielle Wright and My First Book of Poems collected by Jane Yolen
2010 Love Those Letters: The Alphabet and Beyond * alphabet* How Rocket Learned to Read
by Tad Hills and Love Those Letters! ® by Katrina Morse
2011 Reading Magic *The magic of books and reading* The Magic Hat by Mem Fox
2012 Count On Books *numbers and counting* Math Fables by Greg Tang
2013 Make Friends with Books *friendship* Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes
2014 Read, Play, Imagine *imagination* The Squiggle by Carole Lexa Schaffer
2015 The World of Eric Carle *Eric Carle artwork and books* The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle
2016 Books, Naturally *nature* Whose Tracks are These? by Jim Nail

Put on your own Kids’ Book Fest!  Here are some ideas!