The fifth annual Bookworm Festival, a local children’s book celebration held in conjunction with librarians and educators in the Houston area, took place on February 3 at Spring Oaks Middle School. The event brought together more than 500 attendees for a gathering of emerging readers and the authors who write for them. We’ve rounded up a selection of highlights from the festival, which featured appearances by seven children’s book authors and illustrators, musical performances, and more. All photos courtesy of Two Cats Communications.

(From l.): Authors Ethan Long, Lisa Mantchev, Todd Parr, festival chair Melanie Scales, and Sherri Duskey Rinker (front) clown around before the events.

Singer-songwriter Emily Arrow serenades the audience.

Author Matt de la Peña (l.) and illustrator Loren Long discuss their collaboration on Love (Putnam) during the opening keynote address.

Tammy Sauer and a feathered friend read Wordy Birdy (Doubleday).

A student asks a question during one of the panel sessions.

Ethan Long reads his picture book, Valensteins (Bloomsbury).

Lisa Mantchev reads Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime (Simon Schuster/Wiseman).

A view of the crowd.

A mother and child find a quiet place to read during the festival.

Culinary students at Spring Oaks Middle School created cakes to honor each attending author. Here, Rinker shows her love for the dessert inspired by Tiny and the Big Dig (Scholastic Press).

Long and de la Peña sign books at the end of the festival.