By Tribune Staff

Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s social activism remains constant and consistent. Education’s always been one of her priorities, and she’s now started a new series designed to stimulate reading interest in young children. She launched “Mondays with Michelle Obama” Monday. She’ll read aloud each week from a different classic children’s book starting at 11 a.m. CDT. The series will continue through May 11 and is a collaboration between Michelle Obama, Penguin Young Readers. Random House Children’s Books and PBS Kids. She began the series with “The Gruffalo,” written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. 

Each reading is simultaneously live-streamed on PBS’ Kids Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as Penguin Random House’s Facebook page. The videos remain available for on-demand viewing on each platform after the initial reading ends. 

The other books in the series include “There’s a Dragon in Your Book” (April 27), written by Tom Fletcher and illustrated by Greg Abbott; “Miss Maple’s Seeds” (May 4), story and pictures by Eliza Wheeler; and Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” “As a little kid, I loved to read aloud,” Michelle Obama said in a statement. “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.” She continued, “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).”

Penguin Random House also is making available a collection of activities and resources for each of the books that Obama will read at, with companion literacy resources available at