The 400 plus children at Stuart Park seemed more interested with what was happening on the ground than above when the National Book Relay literally dropped in to Wollongong on Wednesday.
Having travelled about 4000 kilometres from Perth to Wollongong, the book Alpacas with Maracas reached its final destination thanks to the help of Skydive the Beach members and a small army of volunteers.
But the preschoolers and primary school students in attendance really only got excited when Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery started reading the book written by Matt Cosgrove.
Alpacas with Maracas was read all over the country at the same time as the chosen book of this year's National Simultaneous Storytime.
NSS is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association to promote the value of reading and literacy.
Paint the Gong REaD committee member Kathryn Barker said this year's event also saw the book travel across Australia to spread the important message of the vital need to read, talk, sing, rhyme and draw with children from birth.
She said the National Book Relay was launched in Perth on March 20.
"It has travelled all over Australia before arriving here [Wollongong] today," Ms Barker said.
"This event is one of many we support in our efforts to encourage more kids to read."
Cr Bradbery added reading and literacy was a precious gift that we give our children.
"Reading and singing to a young child is essential to literacy and a lifelong curiosity. The National Book Relay is a massive benefit to your children and students and I encourage everyone to sit down and read to their children or grandchildren when they can," he said.
This view was shared by Wollongong Public School instructional leader Samantha Neaves.
"I support any event that works towards building a life-long love of reading. That's why we have brought our students here today," she said.