Barbara Bush, who turns 86 today, reads “Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee,” by Rockport author Chris Van Dusen.
Ellie Cole, Staff Writer
Correction: The captions for two photos with this story were revised at 12:08 p.m., June 9, 2011, to correct the name of Jeffrey Davis.
PORTLAND — Former first lady Barbara Bush spent part of her 86th birthday today reading stories to young patients at the Portland children’s hospital bearing her name.
“Morning everybody!” she said to about 20 children gathered in the atrium of The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. 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.
The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital is a hospital within Maine Medical Center located at 22 Bramhall St., Portland.
Jeffrey Davis, 2, receives a kiss from Bibi, one of two dogs Barbara Bush brought with her to Medical Center today.
Barbara Bush reacts after Jeffrey Davis, 2, gets a kiss from one of the former first lady's dogs.