Wordstock Recap

The kids and I ventured out to Wordstock, the annual book festival in Portland, Oregon. Eric said, “I really wanted to stay there more hours, mom.”

We spent all of our time at the Knowledge Universe Children’s Literature area. Believe me, I would have liked to explore the rest of the festival, but the kids were MAGNETIZED.

I love that the activity description signs were also activities in themselves!

First stop, craft station. Of course.

Authors were reading and sharing from the stage, but that wasn’t “fascinating” enough to hold my 4 & 5 year olds’ attention.

I was interested in hearing more from the authors, but maybe we'll do that when the kids are older!

“Fascinating” is the new standard that Anna has set for entertainment. If it’s not “fascinating,” then she doesn’t want anything to do with it. Sigh. She’s only 5! Please wish me luck as I parent her for the next 13 years.

What was fascinating were several other stations:

Anna got to write and illustrate her own story. For more advanced writers (ie, can actually write more than a few words), there was a publishing contest. Again, maybe when we're a tiny bit older.

Not only did we get to sit and read fun books, we got to take some home as well! Thanks to Knowledge Universe and Title Wave for the donated books!

favorite childhood books

Everyone was encouraged to write their favorite book and post it on the wall. Here is Anna pointing to "How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?" and Eric pointing to, "Richard Scarry's Things That Go!"

I got to spend some time talking to David Roy, Director of Community Partnerships for Knowledge Universe. David has the pleasure of overseeing the donation of around 100,000 books to kids every year. I love that they are so committed to advancing literacy. Since they have about 150,000 kids in KinderCare every day, they see first hand the magic that happens when kids become readers. He said, “We will not rest until every child has books in their hands.” To further that goal, they’ve launched “READ. SHARE. GIVE.” Which encourages families to read more books, then pass the books along to friends and neighbors. There are printable labels that you can put in your books, and track where they books are going. The kids and I are picking some books, and getting ready to give them to all our neighbors. More on that later!

Read. Share. Give!

I asked David for some tips for encouraging kids to become more avid readers. Here is his advice:

1. Have books everywhere, so it’s just normal and comfortable, and it’s more likely that the kids will grab a book when they’re looking for something to do.

2. Work reading into everyday activities. For example, read a book with a food theme before cooking a meal together.

3. Bring books everywhere you go – in the car, to the store, to the park.

4. Set aside at least 20 minutes a day to read together.
I for one have a renewed commitment to read more with the kids throughout the day! I don’t want our reading to be relegated to a bedtime activity.

In what ways are you fostering bookworms in your home?

On the write path,



Disclosure: I was given a press pass to review Wordstock. All opinions are my own.


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