Michelle Obama kicked off her read-aloud video series for kids on Monday, with a little help from a mouse and a mythical beast.
The former first lady is teaming up with PBS Kids and publishers Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books on a series of videos featuring her reading from children’s books to kids stuck at home during the quarantine.
Monday marked the first installment, in which Obama read Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo, about a mouse who encounters the titular monster during a walk in the woods. In the video, Obama delivers an animated reading of the book, complete with funny voices, periodically turning it toward the camera to showcase Axel Scheffler’s illustrations.
“I hope you enjoyed today’s book,” Obama says at the end of the video. “And I can’t wait to see you next week.”
Obama will post three more videos as part of the series, each one debuting on a Monday. The other books that she’ll read aloud are Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott’s There’s a Dragon in Your Book, Eliza Wheeler’s Miss Maple’s Seeds, and Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
“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),” Obama said in a news release.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.