Read Across Oklahoma returns to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden on Tuesday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate literacy with live music, free books, storytelling and more! Oklahoma author and illustrator Hannah Harrison will read from her book, “Friends Stick Together”, telling the story of Rupert, a rhino, who finds friendship in unexpected and unlikely places. The book also served as the inspiration for this year’s Read Across Oklahoma theme: Friends Read Together.

Spaghetti Eddie will provide live musical entertainment at the event. Every half-hour or so from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Oklahoma-based duo will perform their original tunes at the Zoo’s elephant pavilion. They will alternate with Harrison’s storytelling.

Event maps and itineraries will be available at the OKC Zoo’s turnstiles and ZOOfriends memberships office. Event activities are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are free with Zoo admission thanks to financial and volunteer support from the event’s partners. The day’s activities include:

·         Free books (first 1,000 children) and free event T-shirts (first 100 children) near the entry plaza.

·         New for 2019! The Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s Instrument Playground offers children the chance to try out a selection of orchestral instruments in the entry plaza from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Trained staff show kids how to manipulate a variety of instruments.

·         Costumed characters and photo station near the entry plaza.

·         Interactive literacy stations, craft activities and dance stations located throughout the Zoo.

Read Across Oklahoma is part of the statewide Ready to Learn initiative coordinated by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. This program promotes literacy and helps build the foundation for a lifetime of learning, specifically targeting preschool children who may be at risk for low literacy.

Additional Read Across Oklahoma partners include Capitol Hill High School FCCLA, Feed the Children, Metro Technology Center, Tinker Federal Credit Union, The Krueger Foundation, Metropolitan Library System, Target, Oklahoma Literacy Coalition, the OKC Metro Literacy Coalition and the Oklahoma City Zoo. 

Grab your friends and “book it” to the OKC Zoo for Read Across Oklahoma! Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit

About Hannah Harrison:

Hannah Harrison is an award-winning author and illustrator whose debut book, “Extraordinary Jane” received three starred reviews and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, won the Oklahoma Book Award for Illustration, and was selected for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Her subsequent books, including “Friends Stick Together”, have also gone on to receive starred reviews and were finalists for the Oklahoma Book Award in both the Writing and Illustration categories. Hannah lives in Ada, Oklahoma with her family. To learn more about Hannah and her work, visit