(Friday, April 17—NEW YORK, NY)—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 four books Mrs. Obama will read are:
April 20, 12 noon ET: THE GRUFFALO
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
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.
Penguin Young Readers is one of the leading children’s book publishers in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Dial Books, Dutton, Kokila, Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Workshop, Philomel, Puffin, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Razorbill, Viking, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning New York Times bestselling authors as Laurie Halse Anderson, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Roald Dahl, Anna Dewdney, John Flanagan, John Green, Oliver Jeffers, Mike Lupica, Ransom Riggs, Ruta Sepetys, Sabaa Tahir, Jacqueline Woodson, and dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as the Little Engine That Could, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Madeline, Mad Libs, the Last Kids on Earth, and the Rangers Apprentice, among many others. Penguin Young Readers Group is a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Random House Children’s Books is the world’s largest English-language children’s trade publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books include Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, Crown Books for Young Readers, Delacorte Press, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, Make Me A World, The Princeton Review, Random House Books for Young Readers, Random House Graphic, Rodale Books, Schwartz & Wade Books, and Wendy Lamb Books. These imprints bring together award-winning and bestselling authors and illustrators, including Christopher Paul Curtis, Carl Hiaasen, Emily Winfield Martin, R.J. Palacio, Christopher Paolini, Philip Pullman, Rebecca Stead, Nicola Yoon, and Markus Zusak along with world-famous brands such as Dr. Seuss, the Magic Tree House series, and Little Golden Books. Random House Children’s Books is also home to a variety of licensed publishing, including Richard Scary, Disney, Marvel, and Nickelodeon. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers children ages 2-8 the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital media, and community-based programs. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn, including their teachers, parents, and community. Provided by stations, the free PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream is available to more than 95% of U.S. TV households. Kidscreen and Webby Award-winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning, including the PBS KIDS Video app, which is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung TV, and Chromecast. PBS KIDS also offers parent and teacher resources to support children’s learning anytime and anywhere. For more information on PBS KIDS content and initiatives supporting school reading and more visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.