A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Obama asks kids questions and points out information beyond the text, which helps kids learn from books. The series can be used as a positive learn-to-read exercise. Having someone read a book over video isn't as effective as having a book read in-person.
Varies from book-to-book based on book's content. Some are more entertainment, some have a positive message, such as Oh, the Places You'll Go!.
Positive Role Models
Obama sets a good example of making reading exciting and important. The books themselves vary -- most are more entertainment-based than featuring an exemplary character. Former President Barack Obama is featured in one episode.
Violence & Scariness
Depends on the book being featured -- some stories have mild peril.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Read Along: Mondays With Michelle Obama is a YouTube series featuring Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama reading picture books aloud. In each episode, Obama reads 1 to 2 storybooks. Books are appropriate for most ages, though some feature mild scariness. Books range from classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Oh, the Places You'll Go! to more recent favorites like Giraffe Problems and Can I Be Your Dog? This show does a great show of encouraging kids to foster a love of reading.
Is It Any Good?
Obama is a dynamic reader who could have missed her calling as a kindergarten teacher. The books featured in Read Aloud have great stories with wonderful illustrations. The series is pretty low-frills: the books are not enhanced with animations or sound effects. Kids who love reading will likely enjoy this virtual story time, but some kids may be bored by the simple presentation. Obama does a good job asking kids questions that encourage them to reflect on the story, but of course kids will learn more from having a live adult reading to them. But if an in-person grown-up isn't available, this series is a pretty great substitute.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.