ALAN Marshall's classic novel of an Australian bush childhood, I Can Jump Puddles, should be mandatory reading at schools, says Corangamite Arts president Chris Maguire.
On Friday, to mark 110 years since the Noorat-born literary icon's birth , a Jumping Puddles day will be held at Terang's civic hall. Pupils from Camperdown, Cobden, Mortlake, Panmure, Simpson, Terang and of course Noorat will attend the free event, which Mr Maguire said was a worthy tribute to the much-loved author, who died in 1984.
"Alan Marshall was born in Noorat and he really was a man ahead of his time," he said.
"He was diagnosed with infantile polio at the age of six. I think it was his attitude, he never thought of himself as disabled.
"He had an amazingly positive attitude. In his later years he lobbied strongly for the rights of handicapped people and aboriginal communities.
"I Can Jump Puddles should be mandatory on reading lists for grades five and six. I think it's his attitude for the way he dealt with everything.
"He was dealt out such blows but he was such a positive and creative person. Hopefully by having this event we encourage locals to have a interest in the area."
The public is welcome to observe the workshops and attend a lunch with authors Hazel Edwards and Paul Harvey at the Wheatsheaf Hotel from noon.