PORTLAND – Former first lady Barbara Bush spent part of her 86th birthday Wednesday reading stories to young patients at the Portland children’s hospital that bears her name.

“Morning everybody!” she said to about 20 children gathered in the atrium of The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. Some of the patients had to be carried or arrived in wheelchairs.

Bush asked the children their names and chatted a bit before reading them “Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee,” by Camden author Chris Van Dusen.

While she read, her Maltese-poodle mix dogs — Bibi and Mini Me — captured the patients’ attention.

The children, along with family members and hospital employees, sang “Happy Birthday” and presented Bush with a cake and a lilac tree bearing cards from the children. The tree will be planted at the Bush compound on Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport.