Kids On Congress! Activities for the Whole Family

By on

With the launch of the Next Chapter Tent, our brand new dedicated spot for middle grade panels, we’re officially launching Kids On Congress, a stupendous avenue packed with sessions and activities for young readers at the 2017 Texas Book Festival! From picture books to chapter books to YA, and with entertainment and activities to keep kids occupied, Kids On Congress has something for every young reader in your family.

All of these events are FREE and open to the public!


Read Me A Story Tent

We’re excited to bring your youngest readers some of the best illustrators and authors creating pictures books this year! Join us in the Read Me A Story Tent for a new story every half hour. We’ll share so many good books together, about everything from identity to tree-climbing to how to be a good friend to an orange, all read by award-winning authors and illustrators, including Matt de la Peña, Leslea Newman, Dan Santat, Javaka Steptoe and many more! Check out all of our picture book sessions! 


Bilingual Storytimes in the ¡Ahora Si! Tent!

We’re excited to once again feature bilingual storytimes in our ¡Ahora Si! Tent! We’ll also welcome the winners of the Tomás Rivera Book Award. Join authors Juana Martinez-Neal, Monica Brown, Cynthia Leonor Garza, Jorge Argueta, Francisco X. Stork, F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell, and Rafael López for sessions that celebrate stories in English and Spanish.


Next Chapter Middle Grade Tent

We are SUPER excited to launch our brand new Next Chapter Tent this year! This tent is where you’ll find all of our middle grade chapter book authors this year. Don’t miss Andrew Clements, Margarita Engle, Gene Luen Yang, Ellen Oh and many more authors talking on panels about everything from being funny on the page to dealing with family drama to being an inclusive friend, reader and citizen. Check out all of our Middle Grade sessions! 


YA HQ Tent

We’re bringing back the YA HQ Tent for the second year in a row. This is where you’ll find two full days of panels featuring young adult authors talking fantasy, real life, writing mega-bestsellers and brand new, buzz-worthy debuts, including Sarah DessenErika L. Sanchez, Jeff Zentner, Tochi Onyebuchi, Nic Stone and more. Check out the full YA schedule.


Kids Authors on the Big Stage!

We have so many great kids authors at the Festival, not even all of Congress Avenue can hold them! Check out select authors appearing in other venues. Read more about each session on our full schedule.

Saturday 11:00-11:45 We Love You, Mac Barnett!
Location: Capitol Auditorium

Saturday 1:15-2:00 Raid of No Return: Nathan Hale and His Hazardous Tale!
Location: Capitol Auditorium

Saturday 12:30-1:15 Katherine Paterson and Peter Sís In Conversation
Location: First United Methodist Church

Saturday 1:00-1:45 The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid with Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis
Location: Omni Hotel Ballroom

Saturday 2:30-3:15 Illustrating American History with Kadir Nelson and Don Tate
Location: Capitol Auditorium

Sunday 11:00-11:45 Bad Moods, Be Gone! with Lemony Snicket
Location: House Chamber

Sunday 12:30-1:15 The Wonderful World of William Joyce
Location: Capitol Auditorium

Activity and Entertainment Tents

We have full schedules of art activities and live entertainment in our Activity Tent and Entertainment Tent. Catch these artists all weekend long! And be sure to check out special author activities in these tents:

Saturday 3:00-3:45 Ready, Set, Draw!
Entertainment Tent
We’ll have a blast as three awesome, nationally-renowned illustrators go toe-to-toe and sketch-to-sketch in this rapid-fire, Pictionary-like drawing game! Featuring Steven Weinberg, Mike Curato, and Kathryn Otoshi.

Sunday 11:00-11:45 Draw with Adam Rex!
Activity Tent
Join Adam Rex, author of one of our favorite new funny pictures book, Nothing Rhymes with Orange, for a fun drawing activity featuring fabulous and fantastic fruits! Draw with Adam, then follow him to the Read Me A Story Tent where he’ll read us his new book!

Sunday 12:00-12:45 Sing and Create with Barney Saltzberg!
Entertainment Tent
Young artists, join us for the special session with Barney Saltzberg, author of the new interactive journal, My Book of Beautiful Oops, based on his beloved bestseller, Beautiful Oops! Barney will lead us in song and get our creative powers flowing!


H-E-B Children’s Tent: Kids! Be a Buddy, Not a Bully!

H-E-B invites Texas students to join the H-E-B Buddy League by always showing kindness, respect, courage and inclusion instead of teasing and bullying. Come see a live performance of the new H-E-B Buddy League Training Academy, a high-energy show with song and animation at the Texas Book Festival. When: Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 PM  Where: H-E-B Children’s Tent on Congress