The magic in reading

Imagination Library Johnson County brings children’s storybook characters to life with Storybook Breakfast

By Nicole Davis

Children who want to have a picture taken with Curious George or read a story alongside Pete the Cat may be in luck. Imagination Library Johnson County will soon host its second annual Storybook Breakfast, offering meal complete with pancakes and 15 popular storybook characters.

The Storybook Breakfast will take place Nov. 11 with two sessions, one from 9 to 10 a.m. and another from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Grace United Methodist Church, 1300 E Adams Drive, Franklin. Tickets are limited, with 120 available per session. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for children ages 0 to 4. Registration is required.

Scenes from the 2022 Storybook Breakfast hosted by Imagination Library Johnson County. (Submitted photos)

Children and their families can enjoy a from-scratch pancake breakfast. Upon entering, they will receive a keepsake autograph book and a character will meet them and guide them to their seat. Professional photographers will take pictures of children with the characters. To conclude the event, characters will parade around the room then form a tunnel near the exit so children can have one final hug or handshake to say goodbye. Children will leave with a swag bag which includes a book and other goodies.

Imagination Library Johnson County, a nonprofit, designed to increase kindergarten readiness in Johnson County by providing books to children, intended to begin hosting this event in 2020, but due to the pandemic, they didn’t get the chance until 2022. Tickets for the inaugural year sold out.

“It was the most magical thing,” said Susan Crisafulli, president. “We invited kids to wear their own costumes if they had one. A lot of kids came dressed as superheroes or princesses. The looks on their faces, they were in awe that they could meet Cinderella, who was there last year. The best part was getting to see the joy in their faces.”

There will be 15 characters in attendance, many different from last year to add variety from year to year. Characters include everything from Fancy Nancy, Llama Llama, Pete the Cat and Max from “Where the Wild Things Are” to Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland. Taking recommendations from parents who attended last year, they’ve added an interactive story time, a Pete the Cat book with Pete the Cat himself.

“It’s a way for stories to come alive,” Crisafulli said. “For the children especially, we want to have that sense of magic and them to fall more in love with books and stories, for it to be something they look forward to. It’s such a positive association with books and reading. The experience itself is wonderful. They’ll talk about it for weeks, maybe years to come. ‘Remember that time when I got to meet Llama Llama?’ It becomes personal in a way that helps bring the books to life.”

For tickets and information, visit