We all know that reading books and studying colorful illustrations can do wonders for a child’s imagination. This Saturday, May 3, your family can celebrate the love of all things literary with Free Comic Book Day and California Bookstore Day. We’ve rounded up some awesome events around town that are sure to release your kiddo’s inner bookworm.

kids-reading-10Photo credit: Creative Commons

Free Comic Book Day

What better way to enjoy comics than celebrating Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 3? Comic books are visually stimulating and really complete the picture, as far as words and images working together to tell a story. They’re also a valuable tool for beginning readers. At this annual event, participating comic book shops across the nation give away free comic books to anyone who comes into their stores. That’s right, we said free! Check out the list of free comics available at your nearest shop with this store locator. Each store has different hours, so call beforehand to see what time they’ll be opening on that day.

FCBDPhoto credit: Marissa Mullen

Comickaze Comics, Books and More
Comickaze Comics, Books and More has a great little kids section that’s full of all-ages comics at the front of the store. It also has an impressive collection of graphic novels for older readers. On Free Comic Book Day, kids can expect to see a few of their favorite superheroes like Spider-Man and R2D2 hanging out at the store. Don’t forget your camera so you can snap a photo with your favorite character. The amount of free comic books are limited, so come early to avoid the crowds.

5517 A/B Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego
Online: comickazeonline.webs.com

Southern California Comics
This store is literally a giant warehouse stuffed full of comic books. They know how to throw a party, too. Join the fun and come for creator signings, food trucks and music. A number of vendors will also be on hand selling vintage action figures and collectibles, which mom and dad will surely appreciate.

Tip: the location is a bit obscure – make sure you drive all the way to the end of the road. You’ll see the warehouse in the very back.

8280 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Ste.124
San Diego
Online: www.socalcomics.com

California Bookstore Day

California Bookstore Day is also happening Saturday, May 3. This is a celebration of independent bookstores and what they have to offer to the community.  The event is the first of its kind in California, and is sure to delight book lovers of all ages. Check out the catalog to see the lineup of exclusive books and art pieces that will be only be sold on this day, and bring the kids to a bookstore near you and let the fun begin. Here are a few San Diego bookstore events taking place on California Bookstore Day.

Yellow Book RoadPhoto credit: Amber E. on Yelp

Yellow Book Road
This is San Diego’s only bookstore that caters exclusively to kids. Whether your little one is an infant or preschooler, there’s a book for them here. There’s even a grassy area right outside, perfect for picnicking and reading your new books. The store will have fun activities going on all weekend, complete with author signings, food and great sales. Don’t miss the student picture book exhibition on Friday, May 2 from 6-8 p.m. In addition, Drew Walt, author of The Day the Crayons Quit will be signing books on Sunday, May 4 at 4 p.m.

2750 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego
Online: yellowbookroad.com

The Grove
The Grove is a cute neighborhood bookstore in the heart of South Park, a community big on creative inspiration. From 11 a.m.-noon there will be free pine cone and finger-knitting crafts with author Salina Yoon (Penguin in Love) and illustrator Annika M. Nelson (Colors of Me). Then grab your ice cream coupons from The Daily Scoop for a mid-afternoon treat.

3010 Juniper St.
San Diego
Online: thegrovesandiego.com

library shopPhoto credit: The Library Shop Facebook page

The Library Shop
Be sure to stop by The Library Shop at the San Diego Central Library will host a variety of activities starting at 9:30 a.m. for California Bookstore Day. Take advantage of the store wide sale and let the kiddos stock up on some new reading material. Then take them outside to the library’s patio and enjoy fun book-themed crafts and live music performances. Complete your visit with a trip to the ninth floor in the cool see-through elevator. Bring a lunch and chow down while enjoying the stunning view of the city.

330 Park Blvd.
San Diego
Online: supportmylibrary.org/library-shop/

What’s your favorite spot to celebrate books and comics? Tell us in the comments! 

– Marissa Mullen