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Children’s Book Festival

The Children’s Book Festival aims to get children excited about reading and the arts with a FREE weekend-long festival stacked with top children’s authors and illustrators, activities and entertainment for children and families of all ages and backgrounds, and so much more!

Celebrating its fourteenth year, the Children’s Book Festival provides children in grades PreK – 6 and their families with a FREE, interactive and engaging literary experience that inspires in children a love for books and the arts, encourages parents to read to their little ones, and gives them access to affordable new and used books to build home libraries of their own. The festival, an event of The Learning Lamp, will be held April 15 & 16, 2023 at Bottle Works located at 411 Third Avenue in Johnstown. And every child who comes to the Book Festival walks away with a free book thanks to The Learning Lamp’s partnership with the First Book National Book Bank.

Guest authors/illustrators

Bruce Hale, an award-winning author and illustrator who is passionate about inspiring reluctant readers to open books—and actually read them! Hale has written and/or illustrated over 70 funny books for children, ranging from picture books like the Clark the Shark series and Snoring Beauty, to middle-grade series like Chet Gecko Mysteries, Class Pets, and the Monstertown Mysteries.

Janet Tashjian, the author of many best-selling middle grade series, including the My Life as a Book, Einstein the Class Hamster, and Sticker Girl. Accompanying Janet will be her son, Jake, who illustrated the Einstein the Class Hamster, and the My Life as a Book series that focuses on teaching kids with reading disabilities vocabulary words in a fun and entertaining way.

Keith Graves, award-winning author and illustrator of many hilarious picture books for children. Graves’ picture book titles include: Chicken Big, Frank was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance, Puppy!, The Monsterator, and many more. Keith’s epic middle-grade novel, The Orphan from Awkward Falls, is a spooky tale that is funny and loaded with creepy illustrations. Keith is also co-president of an animation studio called Graverobber Productions. Graverobber is busy making a cartoon version of Chicken Big, among other things.

Music will fill the festival as Mr. Boom Boom of Music Play Patrol takes the main stage. His musical take on storytelling through the beat of a drum will have both kids and parents drumming, clapping, and dancing along. Throughout the two-day event, Mr. Boom Boom will teach kids a musical form of storytelling that promises to be a blast!

Bookmark contest

The 13th Annual Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown Bookmark Contest is sparking imaginations and bringing stories to life!

Students may enter as part of a classroom at school, or enter individually. The contest is open to all students in preschool through 6th grade and are judged in the following divisions:

  • Division #1: Grades Pre-K & K
  • Division #2: Grades 1 & 2
  • Division #3: Grades 3 & 4
  • Division #4: Grades 5 & 6

Bookmark designs should show us your favorite book or story!

Download the rules and entry form here: 2023 Bookmark Contest Rules and Entry Form.



AUTHOR PRESENTATIONS (approximately 45 minutes)

10:30 a.m. — Keith Graves

12:15 p.m. — Janet and Jake Tashjian

2 p.m. — Bruce Hale

BOOK SIGNING (approximately one hour)

11:15 a.m. — Keith Graves

1 p.m. — Janet and Jake Tashjian

2:45 p.m. — Bruce Hale

STORYTELLING/ENTERTAINMENT (approximately 45 minutes)

11:30 a.m. — Mr. Boom Boom

3:15 p.m. — Mr. Boom Boom

WORKSHOPS (approximately 45 minutes)

12:45 p.m. — Keith Graves (Writing/Illustration)

2:30 p.m. — Janet and Jake Tashjian (Writing/Illustration)

SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2023

AUTHOR PRESENTATIONS (approximately 45 minutes)

10:30 a.m. — Janet and Jake Tashjian

12:15 p.m. — Bruce Hale

2 p.m. — Keith Graves

BOOK SIGNING (approximately one hour)

11:15 a.m. — Janet and Jake Tashjian

1 p.m. — Bruce Hale

2:45 p.m. — Keith Graves

STORYTELLING/ENTERTAINMENT (approximately 45 minutes)

11:30 a.m. — Mr. Boom Boom

3:15 p.m. — Mr. Boom Boom

WORKSHOPS (approximately 45 minutes)

12:45 p.m.— The Learning Lamp To Go (S.T.E.A.M.—LEGOs® and Books)

2:30 p.m. — Bruce Hale (Writing/Illustration)


The Learning Lamp is seeking sponsors for 2023. Community support is critical to making this event accessible to children and families of all incomes. The festival also wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact kmorrell@thelearninglamp.org or call 814-262-0732 x233.

Thank you to all of our 2023 sponsors!

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