A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
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What's the story?
READ ALOUD: MONDAYS WITH MICHELLE OBAMA was originally broadcast live on YouTube in the spring of 2020. Every Monday for 6 weeks, Obama read different picture books suitable for kids of all ages. She read from books like The Gruffalo, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, and more. The camera alternated between seeing Obama's animated facial expressions and seeing closeups of the pages of the books. One episode featured special guest former President Barack Obama.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Each week during Read Aloud: Mondays With Michelle Obama, families can talk about what they liked about the story and what they didn't like. What parts were you most drawn to?
Why do you think Mrs. Obama picked these books to read? Were you familiar with any of them prior to her reading? What are some of your favorite books?
Practice your own read-aloud session with a favorite book or two. What do the pictures tell you about the story? Are there any words you know?
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