Michelle Obama is cracking open some of her favorite children’s picture books — which the former First Lady will read aloud in free live-streams over the next four weeks for kids stuck at home.
In “Mondays With Michelle Obama,” she’ll read aloud from a different classic children’s book every Monday at noon ET, starting April 20 and running through May 11. The project is a collaboration among Obama, Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children’s Books, and PBS Kids.
Each of Michelle Obama’s reading will be live-streamed simultaneously on PBS Kids’ Facebook page and YouTube channel, and on Penguin Random House’s Facebook page. The videos will remain available for on-demand viewing on each platform afterward.
The four books Obama is reading are: “The Gruffalo” (April 20), written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler; “There’s a Dragon in Your Book” (April 27), written by Tom Fletcher and illustrated by Greg Abbott; “Miss Maple’s Seeds” (May 4), story and pictures by Eliza Wheeler; and Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
“As a little kid, I loved to read aloud,” Michelle Obama said in a statement. “And when I became a parent, I found such joy in sharing the magic of storytelling with my own children — and then later, as First Lady, with kids everywhere.”
She continued, “At this time when so many families are under so much stress, I’m excited to give kids a chance to practice their reading and hear some wonderful stories (and to give parents and caretakers a much-needed break).”
Penguin Random House also is making available a collection of activities and resources for each of the books that Obama will read at readtogetherbetogether.com, with companion literacy resources available at pbs.org/parents.
The publisher launched the “Read Together, Be Together” initiative last month in partnership with Meredith’s Parents magazine. Previous PBS Kids “Read-Alongs” have featured Brad Meltzer (“Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum”), Marc Brown (“Arthur”), Victoria Kann (“Pinkalicious & Peterrific”) and Angela Santomero (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”).
Last year, Michelle Obama was featured in YouTube’s “BookTube” original special in which she discussed her memoir “Becoming” with a panel of popular YouTube creators.