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Michelle Obama is hosting virtual read-alongs for kids every Monday

Big Bird's advice to kids during pandemic

Kids around the world are isolated at home, but soon, they'll be able to spend their "Mondays with Michelle." Former first lady Michelle Obama is hosting virtual read-alongs every Monday for the next four weeks. Each Monday, Mrs. Obama will choose a different children's book to read live at 12:00 p.m. on the PBS KIDS and Penguin Random House social media pages.

Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children's Books, and PBS KIDS announced the special story time the same day Mrs. Obama will kick off the series. Her first book is "The Gruffalo," written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.    

She is also set to read "There's a Dragon in Your Book," "Miss Maple's Seeds," and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" in the coming weeks, according to a press release.

"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," Mrs. Obama said in the press release.

"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)," she continued.

Many parents are juggling working from home while also ensuring their kids are virtually learning while out of school during the coronavirus pandemic. Many companies like Scholastic have created virtual learning opportunities for kids, and other famous people are using their time at home to live-stream read-alongs.

This virtual story time is part of Penguin Random House's literacy initiative, "Read Together, Be Together" and PBS KIDS' "Read-Along" effort on Facebook and YouTube. Both initiatives encourage parents and kids to read together, and have adjusted to these unprecedented times by offering virtual tools and digital events during stay-at-home orders.

Each of Mrs. Obama's read-alongs will be simultaneously live-streamed on the PBS KIDS' Facebook page and YouTube channel, and on Penguin Random House's Facebook page. 

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US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama read Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" to children at the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 28, 2016.  NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
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