Voice of the Cougs to read kids’ books at public library

HEATHER MORSE | Evergreen reporter

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Kids who attend story time at the Neill Public Library will soon have the chance to experience children’s books through the famous “Voice of the Cougars.”

Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson, the long-time announcer of WSU football home games, will read from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. June 12 in the Heritage Addition of the library.

“It’s an annual tradition at the library for the last 10 years,” Neill children’s librarian Kathleen Ahern said.

The library dedicates three of its story times to the mayor, police officers and firefighters each summer as part of its summer reading program.

“Obviously, he’s the ‘Voice of the Cougars,’ so he has a fabulous voice in terms of being able to entertain an audience,” Ahern said. “And when he reads he’s very expressive and just does a fine job of making it be a fun time for everybody.”

Ahern selected several books to choose from for the reading, including one of Johnson’s all-time favorites titled “The Baby Beebee Bird.”

The library’s summer story times tend to attract a larger audience, which ranges from 50 to 150 kids and caregivers, Ahern said. The mayor’s reading will be open to kids of all ages but is aimed at those between three and five years old.

Johnson said he reads frequently at various daycare centers and believes it’s important for adults to highlight the importance of reading.

“I try and use a lot of audience participation when I’m reading,” he said, adding that working with kids is one of his best jobs as mayor.

“They’re a fun group, full of energy, full of excitement, lots of smiles on their faces when I read the books,” Johnson said. “You never know what they’re going to react to, so that’s the final excitement of reading to them.”