Michelle Obama kickstarted her week by reading aloud a well-loved picture book, and live-streaming the session to hundreds of thousands of children.
The virtual story time by the former U.S first lady was the first event in a four week series called ‘Mondays with Michelle’, where she will read books to children and their families, as schools remain closed across the U.S and other parts of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her first book? The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axl Scheffler.
“As a little kid, I loved to read aloud,” 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.”
“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).”
‘Mondays with Michelle’ is in partnership with PBS Kids, Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books. Obama says the series provides an opportunity for her to share some of her favourite children’s books and give parents and carers a much needed break. It will also allow children to practice their reading skills while schools are closed.
In the coming weeks, she will read There’s a Dragon in Your Book, Miss Maple’s Seeds and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The readings are streamed live, but can be viewed later online at any time, across the world.
Obama’s reading initiative comes just weeks after iconic U.S country singer Dolly Parton launched her own online story time series, ‘Goodnight with Dolly’. This series draws books from Parton’s popular Imagination Library, a non-profit project that delivers free books to children across the world.