What if we told you Michelle Obama was coming over to read a story to your kids? Every week. Well, she is…thanks to the Read Together, Be Together initiative. Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children’s Books, and PBS KIDS.

On Mon., May 18, former President Barack Obama, will join Mrs. Obama to read The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach.Then, on Mon., May 25, Sunny and Bo, the Obama family’s canine companions, will be on hand when Mrs. Obama reads Can I Be Your Dog?, written and illustrated by Troy Cummings.

Read Together, Be Together is a nationwide movement that celebrates the importance and power of the shared reading experience between a child and their adult caregiver. Reading aloud every day is one of the most effective ways to foster early literacy and is important for building language skills. First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, in support of this initiative will launch a “Read-Along” effort in collaboration with Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children’s Books, and PBS KIDS  on Facebook and YouTube.

 

Obama says, “As a little kid, I loved to read aloud. 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 Obama (#PBSKIDSRead, #ReadTogetherBeTogether) will be livestreamed simultaneously on PBS KIDS’ Facebook page and YouTube channel, and on Penguin Random House’s Facebook page, and will remain available for viewing on demand on all of those platforms immediately thereafter. 

The eight books Obama will read are:

Apr. 20, 12 p.m. ET     

The Gruffalo 

Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler

 

Apr. 27, 12 p.m. ET:      

There’s a Dragon in Your Book

Written by Tom Fletcher and illustrated by Greg Abbott

 

May 4, 12 p.m. ET

Miss Maple’s Seeds

Story and pictures by Eliza Wheeler

                         

May 11, 12 p.m. ET 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

By Eric Carle

 

May 18, 12 p.m. ET   

Giraffe Problems

By Jory John; illustrated by Lane Smith

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich *with a special surprise guest*

Written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach

 

May 25, 12 p.m. ET:   

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss

Can I Be Your Dog? *with a special surprise guest*

Written and illustrated by Troy Cummings

 

A suite of activities, tips and resources for each of the books that Obama will read are available at www.readtogetherbetogether.com, and companion literacy resources are available on pbskidsforparents.org.

—Jennifer Swartvagher

Featured photo/video courtesy of PBS KIDS & Penguin Random House

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