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What’s Your Sign? WOTStrology Part 5: Family Fun

September 16, 2019

With over 200 authors delivering readings and having conversations, alongside a marketplace of more than 150 publishers and booksellers, The Word On The Street 2019 has so much to offer it’s nearly overwhelming. Having a hard time planning your day? Fear not! We’re laying out six bundles of must-sees according to your interests in our WOTStrology series—think of it like a choose-your-own-adventure, or better yet, a literary horoscope.

So tell us—WOTS your sign?

If you’re looking to bring your kids to a day of storytelling and book-themed activities, the Family Fun track is for you! Read on to hear our hand-picked suggestions for families of bookworms.



Featured Stage: TD Children’s Literature Tent

The programming on this stage is all about sharing the joy of reading across all ages. Bring the family to enjoy a full day of readings from Canada’s favourite children’s authors and illustrators, including Terry and Eric Fan’s “The Scarecrow”, Patricia and Guy Storms’ “Moon Wishes”, and Charlene Chua’s “Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao”.

Be sure to stop by at 11:40AM for the TD Grade One Book Giveaway and get a free copy of “My Heart Fills With Happiness”, an English/French/Cree book about the moments in life that bring us joy. Sit in for Catherine Hernandez’ reading of “I Promise”, a sweet and tender book about queer parenting and the many shapes a family can take. And for everyone already getting excited about Halloween, Scholastic is hosting a Horror Panel in the afternoon!


Panels to Pique Your Interest

Sharon & Bram Present Skinnamarink

Concert Stage | 11AM

We’ve been excited about this one ever since we launched our Books & Puppies video with the Toronto Humane Society…Sharon & Bram (of Sharon Lois & Bram) have published a new book, Skinnamarink, and are giving a performance onstage as part of their farewell tour! Come sing and dance along!

Why Don’t Cars Run on Apple Juice?

Kid’s Activity Tent | 11:15PM

And why do the stars stay up in the sky? Join Soapbox Science, Kira Vermond, and Suharu Ogawa in answering these and many other science questions from children–learn fascinating facts, foster curiosity in young ones, and have a fun, silly time all around!

Family & Friends Bilingual Fun-Spell

La scène francophone MonAvenir | 12PM & 2PM

Célébrons ensemble le bilinguisme! Looking for a fun way to engage your family’s French skills? Épelle-Moi Canada is holding a bilingual spelling bee throughout the day! Sign up solo or as a team; there will be two chances to compete, in either English or French. Allez-y!

Teen Reads Series

Various stages

For the teenagers in the family, we’re featuring a gamut of Teen Reads panels across the site all day, where YA authors read from their work and discuss the themes they explore. Grab at seat at “Complicated Love” (10:15AM, Vibrant Voices of Ontario stage) with S.K. Ali and Tanaz Bhathena, “Just Lucky” (10:45AM, Indigenous Voices stage) with Melanie Florence, “Opening Up” (2:15PM, Great Books Marquee) with Brian Francis and Heather Smith, and “Fantasy” (3:30PM, Across The Universe stage) with Elly Blake, J.M. Frey, and Kate Story.


Exhibitors Not to Miss

There are oodles of children’s authors and illustrators scattered throughout our festival marketplace; make sure to pop in and peruse their work! Every age range from infants to adolescents are represented in our selection of KidLit.

For more hands-on activities, visit the Kids Activity Tent and join “Heather’s Music Circle”, or participate in a round or two of Kean Soo and Tory Woollcott’s “Drawing Games”. If your kids are dreaming of being authors one day, take them to the “Details! Details!” workshop with Ripple Foundation, where children’s writing skills will be challenged and encouraged. Or if they’re in the mood to learn stories and words they’ve never heard before, stop by the Learning Station and learn a few words of a local Indigenous language. Cree, Anishinaabemowin, and Mohawk will be taught in fun, family-friendly ways throughout the day!



There you have it: our top picks for everyone looking to nurture a love of reading and storytelling in the next generation. Remember, these are only suggestions—the world of WOTS is wide and full of wonder, and you’re guaranteed to get something out of it no matter how you spend your day. Stay tuned for our other WOTStrology posts going up this week, and we’ll see you on the 22nd!