Barack and Michelle Obama Read a Children's Book Together at Home for Parents Who Need a Break


Barack Obama joined Michelle Obama for her weekly book reading series on PBS Kids as the former first couple teamed up to give parents with children at home a break during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Obamas read Julia Sarcone-Roach's children's book The Bear Ate Your Sandwich together in a 13-minute video, trading off reading between pages and laughing as they make sound effects with their mouths to bring the story's characters to life.

Sarcone-Roach's story follows the tale of a bear who's lost in a city and stumbles upon an abandoned sandwich before eating it and eventually finding his way back home through a series of lazy adventures.

But it's not until the end of the story when the reader realizes the dog, who's explaining to a young girl how her sandwich was eaten by a wild bear, may just be telling a tall tale to hide the fact that he's the one who ate the girl's sandwich.

“What do you think happened to the sandwich really?” the former president, 58, asked his wife, 56, after she read "The End" and closed the book.

"I think… the dog ate the sandwich," the former first lady whispered while her husband laughed, "It wasn't the bear!"

He also laughed and jokingly emphasized the dog's effort. “If you can come up with that good a story, though, you kind of earned your sandwich,” he joked.

Mrs. Obama's weekly PBS Kids reading series was originally slated for a four-week run but was extended earlier this month for two more weeks to run through the end of May.

PBS launched the Mondays with Michelle Obama series in mid-April as a way to give parents who are taking care of their kids at home during the coronavirus pandemic a "much-needed break."

"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," the mother of two said in April when the series was announced. "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)."

The Obamas will also team up to deliver a virtual commencement speech together on June 6 for the graduating class of 2020, who had their final two months of in-person classes, and their graduation ceremonies, canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Whether you realize it or not, you’ve got more road maps, more role models, and more resources than the Civil Rights generation did,” President Obama told students in one of his two graduation speeches he made this past weekend. “You’ve got more tools, technology, and talents than my generation did. No generation has been better positioned to be warriors for justice and remake the world.”

Mrs. Obama, who has said her focus is now on inspiring the next generation, will continue the PBS Kids reading series for one more episode next week on May 25. You can watch on PBS Kids' YouTube channel at 12 p.m. ET.

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