World of Reading 2019

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland will host its annual World Of Reading Festival in Barnett Family Park (730 E Orange Street) Saturday, April 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This is a free event open to all families and children of all ages. 

“Where will reading take you?” is our continued theme and spotlight book tents will be focused on the setting or topic of the books. The tents will endeavor to make their featured story come alive. The books will include: A Pizza the Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky; Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White; If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff; and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Each tent will have a craft for the children to create and take home with them. Once the child has completed the tent activity and received a stamp on their passport, they will select a book (first come, first serve) from the Spotlight Book Tent of one of the four featured books; and then also will select an AR book from the Junior League book area to take home, for free! Children’s musical guru Jack Hartmann will perform at the event, along with face painting and balloon artists for even more family fun.

“This event has the most profound effect on children. It’s one thing to read a book, but it’s another to meet a real, live author and learn what goes into writing a book! It plants a “can-do” seed in a child’s head.” said Mandy Middleton, the event chair. “We are so very proud to present this event to our community. Anything that promotes a love of reading is a step in the right direction!”

In addition to the activities and book giveaways, there will be two authors conducting autograph signing and meet and greets: Dr. John Becker, known for his books Maggie the Talented Mouse and Mugambi’s Journey (, and Marisa Carbone Finotti, who wrote The Treasure of Amelia Island and Paintbrushes and Arrows, will be signing books and giving away free copies to the first 700 participants! They will also be reading from their books twice during the event.

This event is funded in part by a grant from Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation, Inc. of Lake Wales and our sponsors: Harrell Family Charities, Inc., Southern Homes, Mid-State Industrial Maintenance and Publix Charities.

For more information about The Junior League of Lakeland’s World of Reading, please email, visit or follow us on Facebook or check out the event Facebook post.