The Junior League of Greater Lakeland will be hosting its annual World Of Reading Festival in Barnett Park Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM.

This FREE family event is a local tradition, loved by local moms, dads, grandparents and most importantly – KIDS!

At the World of Reading Festival you’ll find crafts, kids activities, balloon artists, face painters, Jack Hartmann, snacks and drinks, and a chance to meet a Featured Author. Each child that attends the event will also receive FREE books.

Where will reading take you?” at the World of Reading Festival this year??


Children who attend the World of Reading Festival will visit various tents, each with a different craft or activity for the kids to create and take home with them.

This year, activity tents will be focused on the setting or topic of the books, rather than a specific country as in years past. The tents will be designed to make the featured story come alive.

Featured books include:

Rechenka’s Eggs
by Patricia Polacco

Diary of a Worm
by Doreen Cronin

The Family Book
by Todd Parr

The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein

Once your child has completed each tent and filled up their stamp card, they will get to pick up a book from the Junior League book area to take home, for FREE! Every child who completes a stamp card will receive a book. 

Children’s music star Jack Hartmann will also perform at the event – my kids LOVE him. I’ve even been known to sing along!

There will also be face painting and balloon artists for even more family fun.

Guest Authors

In addition to the activities and book giveaways, there will be two featured guest authors signing books, doing meet and greets, and giving readings of their books during the event. Free copies of their books will be available to the first 700 kids!

Ahmad H. Taylor
Best known for his book The Color Machine
Learn more:

Renee Adams
Author of the series Two Facts and a Fib 
Learn more:

Free Books

Children who attend the World of Reading Festival have the opportunity to leave with up to 4 books! Although there will be a huge selection available at all reading levels, note that books are all first come first serve and the selection may be more limited later in the morning.

Free book opportunities include:

  • The first 700 children to arrive will get to pick one book at check in when picking up their bag.
  • Every child who completes their passport stamp card at the activity tents will receive one free book from the Junior League book area.
  • Spotlight table – The first 700 children to complete their passport stamp card can also select one book from the spotlight table. Available books include Rechenka’s Eggs, Diary of a Worm, The Family Book or The Giving Tree.
  • The Guest Authors will have a total of 700 free copies of their books – kids will be able to select one book from a guest author while supplies last.

Every child will leave with at least one free book!

Photos from Previous Years

Mark your calendar and make plans to bring your kids to this year’s World of Reading Festival!

About the Junior League:

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. is committed to promoting overall wellness of body, mind, and spirit for women and children in our community, through our own community efforts and by partnering with other non-profit organizations in the Greater Lakeland area with a wellness vision.

JLGL members actively reach well over 10,000 families each year. Sustainers, members who have served the JLGL faithfully for decades, have left a proud legacy.  Together, all members continue to meet the needs of the community in unique and powerful ways. The Junior League of Greater Lakeland is open to women, age 22 and older, living in the greater Lakeland area. Any woman in the community is welcome and encouraged to fill out an application. Click here to learn more. 

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