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New York, NY, April 17, 2020 – Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children’s Books, and PBS KIDS today announced a special collaboration with former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, in support of the recently announced “Read Together, Be Together” Penguin Random House literacy initiative and PBS KIDS’ “Read-Along” effort on Facebook and YouTube. On Monday, April 20, at 12 noon (ET), “Mondays with Michelle Obama” will kick off a four-week series of videos that will feature Mrs. Obama reading aloud from beloved children’s books (one book every Monday through May 11). “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 books Mrs. Obama will read are:
April 27, 12 noon ET: THERE’S A DRAGON IN YOUR BOOK
Written by Tom Fletcher and illustrated by Greg Abbott
May 4, 12 noon ET: MISS MAPLE’S SEEDS
Story and pictures by Eliza Wheeler
May 11, 12 noon ET: THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR
By Eric Carle
Michelle 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).”
A suite of activities, tips, and resources for each of the books that Mrs. Obama will read are available at www.readtogetherbetogether.com, and companion literacy resources are available on pbskidsforparents.org.
Read Together, Be Together
The U.S. children’s divisions of Penguin Random House launched with Parents magazine in March 2020, READ TOGETHER, BE TOGETHER, (#ReadTogetherBeTogether) a nationwide movement that celebrates the importance and power of reading with young children. Originally slated to launch in summer 2020 with nationwide retail, educator, and consumer activations, the program began sooner in light of the current COVID-19 crisis, with a series of daily virtual story-times with bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators and celebrity readers. The dedicated website, www.readtogetherbetogether.com will also host reading tips for parents and caregivers, developed with Parents magazine, as well as an extensive list of recommended age-appropriate books.
PBS KIDS Read-Alongs
To encourage family engagement and a love of reading during this time at home, PBS KIDS offers families a place to come together and read along with fan-favorites on YouTube and Facebook. PBS KIDS Read-Alongs have included story-times with Brad Meltzer (XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM), Marc Brown (ARTHUR), Victoria Kann (PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC), Angela Santomero (DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD) and more, on the PBS KIDS Facebook page and YouTube channel. Along with story-time of a beloved book, each PBS KIDS Read-Along is designed to encourage engagement among families who tune in, with activity ideas and questions that spark conversation.