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Pavilion Reading Schedule | Adult Readings & Talks | Complete Schedule | Main Festival Page

sponsored by Metro Public Libraries!

Join us at the Festival for a fun-filled day of family activities. Kids of all ages will want to join us for author readings, musical performances, games, crafts, workshops, and more!

Click here to download a flyer for the Children's Pavilion!

Fun Activities | Writing Workshops | Drawing lessons | Featured Authors


readings, music, & presentations:

10:30 am:      Paul Fricke

11:00 am:      The Bazillions

11:30 am:      Phyllis Root

12:00 pm:      The Bazillions

12:30 pm:      John Coy

  1:00 pm:      Bookcrobatics

  1:30 pm:      Sarah Forss

  2:00 pm:      Dazzling Dave Yo-Yo Master

  2:30 pm:      Kelly Barnhill

  3:00 pm:      Dazzling Dave Yo-Yo Master

  3:30 pm:      Lynne Jonell


10:00 am-10:45 am: Workshop: "Who's Knocking On My Door?"

10:00 am-2:00 pm: Lexicon Villages: Playing with Words & Numbers

11:00 am-4:00 pm: Drawing Lessons: How to Make Comics & More

11:00 am-4:00 pm: Bruce the Bug Guy: Up Close with Insects

4:00 pm-4:45 pm: Workshop: "Low Impact Storytelling"

Book sales for our featured authors are provided onsite by Red Balloon Bookshop, and booksignings will take place after each event.



A former reading teacher with the Minneapolis Public Schools, Kelly Barnhill is a published author of thirteen nonfiction children’s books on subjects as diverse as animal adaptation to strange medical histories. Kelly teaches workshops at The Loft Literary Center and through the Writers and Artists in the Schools program. Her first novel,The Mostly True Story of Jack, is a riveting combination of mystery, magic, and scary moments that, according to the esteemed Kirkus Review, "will spellbind the middle-grade set." Visit Kelly Barnhill's website HERE. (Grades 3-6 ) 2:30 pm

“There's a dry wit and playfulness to Barnhill's writing that recalls Lemony Snicket and Blue Balliett. Like Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and Balliett's Chasing Vermeer, Barnhill leverages humor to ratchet up the mystery and temper some of the scarier aspects of the story line as Jack literally unearths the truth about Hazelwood and his relatives. A high-concept take on the meaning of home and the importance of family, The Mostly True Story of Jack is a delightfully unusual gem.”
        —Susan Carpenter, The Los Angeles Times


John Coy is the author of the picture books Night Driving, Strong to the Hoop, Vroomaloom Zoom, Two Old Potatoes and Me, and Around the World. John is a member of the NBA Reading All-Star Team as part of the Read to Achieve program. Crackback, his first young adult novel,is about high school football and his second, Box Out, is about high school basketball. He is working on a middle-grade series and the first two books, Top of the Order and Eyes on the Goal are now out. Eyes on the Goal is a story about four sports-loving friends whojoin a week-long soccer camp, and learn how life, like sports, can be unpredictable, frustrating, and exhilarating. He lives in Minneapolis and visits schools nationally and internationally. Visit John Coy's website HERE. (Grades 3-6 ) 12:30 pm


From fleas to beetles, from bedbugs to flies, bugs and their numbers can be quite a surprise. Their feats are amazing, and believe it or not, there are 10 quintillion; that’s saying a lot. But don’t let the bugs bug you, learn about them instead! Sarah Forss will share numerous fun facts and figures about spiders, flies and all types of creepy crawlies. How many days can a cockroach survive without its head? What kind of spider can make a seven-foot-wide web, large enough to catch small birds? If you were a grasshopper, how far could you jump? So many bugs, so much to learn . . . Sarah is the author (with Sharon Werner) of Bugs By the Numbers, a book for curious bug-lovers of all ages—the Wall Street Journal called it “the sort of handsome, hyper-designed nonfiction diversion that will fit almost as well on an adult coffee table as on the nursery bookshelf.” Visit Sarah Forss' studio HERE. (Grades 4-6) 1:30 pm


A long-time comic book illustrator and creator, Paul Fricke worked with DC and Topps and First Comics, moving to Minneapolis in 1993. It was after the birth of his daughter that he and his wife formed Blue Moon Studios, a digital art company that provides graphic material for clients such as 3M, Target, Best Buy, Famous Dave’s and Pillsbury. Over the course of his twenty-six year career, he continued to foster his love of writing. His latest book, Night of the Bedbugs, addresses the bedtime fears of a child and how fear is at times unnecessary. With quirky illustrations and a lively story, Paul delivers a lovable tale of how going to bed isn’t as scary as it may initially seem. Visit Paul Fricke's website HERE (Ages 4-7) 10:30 pm


An instructor at the Loft Literary Center, Lynne Jonell’s books have been published in nine languages, have won the Minnesota Book Award and the Junior Library Guild Selection, and have been listed numerous times on Library Journal’s Best Books and Booklist’s Editors Choice reading lists. Publishers Weekly called her first novel, Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, “a lustrous affair, a droll fantasy with an old-fashioned sweep and a positively cinematic cast.” Her latest novel, Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry, is another installment in what is surely becoming an essential children’s book series. Lynne has also written books for younger readers such as The Secret of Zoom, which has been called “an expertly crafted story that never flags and that includes plenty of heart-stopping situations to keep readers fully engaged” by School Library Review. Trust us: Lynne’s exciting prose will enthrall any young mystery reader. Visit Lynne Jonelle's website HERE. (Grades 3-6) 3:30 pm


Acclaimed children’s book author Phyllis Root has published over thirty children’s books in the past twenty years. Winner of the Minnesota Picture Book Award for Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble, cited as a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and winner of the 2003 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Big Momma Makes the World, her other books include Toot Toot Zoom!, Big Belching Bog, and Paula Bunyan. Her latest book, Scrawny Cat, is a heartwarming, seafaring tale in which Phyllis’s lyrical narrative joins with charming illustrations by Alison Friend to create a classic, comforting story that cat lovers (and story hounds) will cozy up to. (Ages 5 and up) Learn more about Phyllis Root HERE. 11:30 am


Create a Rock Star Wristband, Play the "Spin & Win" Trivia Wheel, Get Carded (show us your library card and get a free button), and more! Plus, these great activities happening throughout the day:


Come visit the Land of Lexicon at the Children's Pavilion! Meet Pendred Noyce, author of Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers, and see her unique story about words and numbers come to life. Children and adults of all ages can dive into this new and exciting land, traveling from village to village and puzzling over fun and engaging concepts together. Don't be surprised if you walk away with a keepsake from Lexicon! (Grades 3-6) 10:00am - 2:00pm

More About Pendred Noyce:
A lover of math and language, Pendred Noyce has been working in education and research development for the past two decades. Her book Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers is a story that plays with the math and language encountered in everyday life. Reviewed as “imaginative and clever” by Dennis Bartels, the Executive Director for San Francisco’s Exploratorium, this playful story will engage both adults and children with its game-like feel.

“My daughter gave it an A+. Lost in Lexicon is like City of Ember crossed with The Mysterious Benedict Society.”
        —Jenny Seeman, Meadowbrook (Massachusetts) School Library Committee

“Parents will find Lost in Lexicon rich in conversation-starters. Children will be entranced. Fast paced, funny, and full of adventure, this witty, thought-provoking book is an ideal selection for a family reading experience.”
        —Robin Schader, Parent Resource Advisor, National Association for Gifted Children

Lost in Lexicon is not only a highly entertaining story, it is a fascinating construction of that story, intermixed with easy to understand scenarios that show the equal importance words and numbers play in our lives.”
        —Publishers Weekly


Dr. Bruce Giebink presents his BUG show, a unique hands-on and ENTO-taining educational program that features a wide assortment of living and preserved insects and related arthropods. The hands-on and interactive nature of the program—kept lively with humor, fun props and occasional “surprises”—make it especially meaningful and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities. Visit Bruce the Bug Guy's website HERE. 11:00am - 4:00pm


The Bazillions are the creation of Twin Cities’ parents/ educators/singer-songwriters Adam and Kristin Marshall. Literally from their first day on the job at Kenny School in Minneapolis, the couple was writing songs for and with their students. Before long, the kids knew every word to every song, and parents began asking for a CD. So, along with their indie pop band The Humbugs, the Marshalls recorded and released “Rock-n-Roll Recess,” under the new alter-ego band name “The Bazillions.” Visit The Bazillions website HERE. 11:00 am and 12:00 pm


David Harris balances, juggles, dances, and performs acrobatic stunts while humorously telling his own story about his love of books. Here’s the blurb he provided the libraries, but it’s more for librarians than selling the show: Bookcrobatics is a children's entertainment show created and performed by David Harris. This show uses books as a launching point for acrobatic adventures about learning new skills. The adventures/skills include learning to bowl, cheerleading, ballet dance, a Harlem Globetrotters basketball game, and being a superhero. This show encourages children to check out related book titles if they want to learn new skills and become Magnificent. Visit Bookcrobatic's website HERE. 1:00 pm


Dazzling Dave is a full-time professional yo-yo performer, and one of 13 officially recognized National Yo-Yo Masters. Dazzling Dave has toured Japan, Korea, Australia, and France, as well as most of the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, California, New York, and Florida. Currently Dave lives in Minnesota and gives hundreds of shows each year. He lives with his wife, Kim, their two wonderful children, Eric and Kate, and his incredible collection of over 1,000 yo-yos from around the world. Visit Dazzling Dave's website HERE. 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm


Kids of all ages are invited to visit the Children’s Pavilion and learn a thing or two about drawing with Minneapolis author/artist Paul Fricke! We’ll supply the paper and drawing implements; you just need to bring your curiosity and imagination. Young artists will learn about drawing features and expressions, creating their own characters and how to make their own book. Feel free to bring along some of your art—Paul will be happy to take a look and offer feedback. Drop by anytime! 11:00am - 4:00pm


The Children's Pavilion is pleased to offer two separate workshops for budding young writers, both with Minneapolis writer Kelly Barnhill! Kelly is the author of The Mostly True Story of Jack, a riveting combination of mystery, magic, and scary moments that, according to the esteemed Kirkus Review, "will spellbind the middle-grade set." With an amazing plot and even more amazing characters, this is a book about friendship, sacrifice, and most of all, belonging.

10:00 am: Workshop for ages 7-10: "Who's That Knocking On My Door?"

All stories start with great characters—but where do those characters come from? How do writers create fictional people that feel as real as any person we have ever met? Using guided imagery, spontaneous writing, and imaginative fun, Kelly will help kid writers create brand new characters for their stories. Your characters are waiting on the other side of the door—we think we hear them knocking now!

4:00 pm: Workshop for ages 11-14: "Low-Impact Storytelling"

Want to scare a writer? Show him or her a blank, empty page—indeed, there is nothing scarier. But if we want to start writing, how do we get going? In this group, Kelly will teach older kids some simple techniques to create story ideas, killer first lines, and opening paragraphs that make people want to keep reading. It's easy, fun, and you can use these techniques the next time you're facing that terrifying blank page.

Workshops are free but space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, parents should send their child's name and age to bookfest [at] Confirmation and attendance details will be sent by return email.

Children's Pavilion Sponsor:

Children's Pavilion Bookseller:

To return to the main Twin Cities Book Festival page, click here.