The royal visited a newly opened library on Friday and read to school children

By Simon Perry
Updated November 29, 2013 12:50 PM
Credit: PA/Landov

It’s story time!

Prince William got a lesson in storytelling when he visited the recently opened Library of Birmingham Friday.

Joined by a group of 6-year-old children, William, 31, was taken through a favorite tale, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Although William appeared a little reticent about joining in all the motions that go with the lively classic text, after a little cajoling from storyteller Amanda Murphy, 54, he was soon swaying and doing the arm movements to accompany the story.

Seated with the children of class 25 at Chandos Primary School in Highgate, Birmingham, he called out, “Swish, swish, swish,” along with the kids.

“And do the motions,” Murphy urged him. Soon, he got the idea and was beckoning “over it” and “under it” at the right times.

“I’d like a nap now,” William said with a broad grin at the end.

Picture Books for Prince George

Prince George may have been doing just that. The 4-month-old wasn’t far from the children’s thoughts and William was asked by schoolgirl Katie Wyatt, 6, if he read to his son.

“He said he did. He said he lets George look at the pictures and that the baby likes playing with the picture books,” she told PEOPLE. “He was very handsome!”

The children also gave William a card for George, decorated with a large sunflower, and inside each child had drawn a mini picture of themselves. The infant also received another gift from the library visit – his own library card.

Of William’s visit, Murphy said, “I always like to put dads on the spot and make them join in, and once the story gets going they normally do. He was just like any other father – except that he could put me in the tower!”

A Royal ‘Singing Career’

Earlier in the visit to Birmingham, William called a swift halt to his new “singing career.”

The Prince, who performed “Livin’ on a Prayer” with Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift at a charity gala at Kensington Palace on Tuesday, ruled out repeating the act.

“I’m not doing that again,” he said, laughing, when the chief executive of a homeless charity in Birmingham jokingly suggested that young residents of a hostel were just warming up and were ready to join him.

“We could get some singing going,” said Jean Templeton, chief executive of St Basils, which runs Carole Gething House, a hostel for 25 people aged 16 to 25 in the Small Heath district of the city.

And Penny Francis – the chairwoman of the board of Centrepoint, a charity benefiting the homeless – suggested the prince could do an alternative dance performance.

“You haven’t rapped yet,” she said. “I draw a line there,” replied William.

The visit to St Basil’s was his third engagement in eight days involving homelessness, following a trip to Sunderland last Friday and the Tuesday gala, which benefited Centrepoint.