Children sat captivated as a range of different guest readers read to them for Australian Reading Hour at Shepparton Library on Thursday.
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister appeared to be a popular book among children from Shepparton’s Arthur Dickmann Children’s Centre who gathered close to former AFL player Luke Lowden to hear him read it.
City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Dinny Adem and Goulburn Valley Libraries chief executive officer Kevin Preece also took time out of their busy schedules to delight children with their storytelling.
The Australian Reading Hour is a national program that encourages people to put aside an hour of their day and read a book and was held from 10.30am to 11.30am at Shepparton Library.
Children and youth services librarian Emma Kennedy said it was a really great way to encourage people to read.
‘‘Reading adds so much to people’s lives, it reduces stress in adults more than a cup of tea or taking a walk and for children it helps them learn their identity and feel confident in themselves, it just improves life in general,’’ she said.
Mr Lowden, who now plays football for Shepparton United, said he really enjoyed reading The Rainbow Fish to the many children gathered at his feet.
‘‘It’s one of my favourite books from when I was a kid so when I got the opportunity to do this, that’s what I wanted to read out — and I thought I read it okay,’’ he said.
‘‘It was good fun and I think the kids enjoyed it.’’