Michelle Obama hosting weekly story time sessions for children during lockdown

First book read by former first lady will be ‘The Gruffalo’

Sabrina Barr
Sunday 19 April 2020 19:17
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Michelle Obama hosting weekly story time for children during coronavirus pandemic

Michelle Obama is hosting weekly story-time sessions online for children while they remain at home in lockdown.

As part of a collaboration with PBS Kids and Penguin Random House, the former US first lady will take part in a four-week series of videos that will see her read from treasured children’s books.

The videos will be streamed live on the PBS Kids Facebook and YouTube accounts and on the Penguin Random House Facebook page, starting at 12pm ET (5pm BST) every Monday from 20 April until 11 May.

The first book Obama has chosen to read is The Gruffalo, which was written by Julia Donaldson and first published in 1999.

She will then read There’s a Dragon in your Book and Miss Maple’s Seeds, before ending with The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

“As a little kid, I loved to read aloud,” the 56-year-old said.

“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.”

Obama stated that in the current climate with “so many families” being “under so much stress”, she is looking forward to taking part in the virtual read-along.

“I’m excited to give kids a chance to practise their reading and hear some wonderful stories (and to give parents and caretakers a much-needed break),” she said.

Following the live-streamed story-time sessions, the videos will remain on Facebook and YouTube for people to view at their leisure.

PBS Kids added that “a suit of activities, tips and resources” for every book being read by the former first lady will be available at readtogetherbetogether.com, while “companion literary resources” will be available at pbskidsforparents.org.

Several Instagram users expressed their excitement over the upcoming read-along, with one person commenting: “What a great idea! Thank you. Truly.”

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