Like CB, my kids are teens (well, they both will be on Friday!) and given that they are self-sufficient, it’s been really nice having them home with me. But, again, like CB, I could not imagine quarantine with young children. I had a truly difficult time staying home with them as young children without quarantine. So I promise you, if mine were still in single digits, I would have a chart of every celebrity offering to read to my kids at which time right now. The latest ‘get’ in our celebrity babysitting club is former first lady Michelle Obama, who began reading to our nations toddlers on Monday and promises to do so until mid-May.
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.
“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).”
To enhance the reading experience with Michelle, Penguin Random House has “activities and resources for each of the books” available on their Read Together Be Together page and further resources on PBS’s parents page. The books Michelle will be reading are There’s A Dragon in Your Book next Monday, Miss Maple’s Seeds on May 4, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar on May 11th. If you missed it, she read The Gruffalo last Monday, but the Read Together Be Together link still has resources for that story up. The only unfortunate part is that Mondays with Michelle Obama is at the same time as LeVar Burton’s kids’ reading time! Maybe parents can tape one and play it on another morning.
Michelle is also working very hard to push the Vote By Mail movement to make mail-in ballots available to all. Last Monday, after she’d read to the kiddies in the AM, Michelle hosted her second When We All Vote Couch Party event, that included Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, among others. Michelle and Barack Obama are co-chairing the movement to make voting accessible to everyone. The first hour and a half was information on how to vote by mail and why it’s so important while the second half of the three-hour event was a dance party hosted by Michelle and DJ D-Nice, who really deserves some kind of official honors when this is all done.
Photo credit: WENN/Avalon