That news nugget aside, the story time was a peek inside the Obamas' home library — with surprisingly bare bookshelves for a couple known as voracious readers — where, for weeks, they've been doing the voluntary isolation thing just like millions of other Americans.
(Also like millions of other Americans, he complained recently that the lack of sports on TV during the novel coronavirus pandemic was "driving me nuts." She has said that, aside from sharing Wi-Fi with daughters Malia and Sasha as they finish out the semester's college classes remotely, "we also got a little Netflix and chilling happening.")
It was Mrs. Obama — a Grammy Award winner in January for best spoken word album, for the audiobook of her bestselling memoir, Becoming — who got more theatrically into the short reading. (If she noticed that her husband mispronounced "motif" as moh-tiff instead of moh-teef, she diplomatically did not let on.)
On the page where little Jerome discovers "multi-syllable words that sounded like songs," the former first lady put a little spice into her pronunciation of "guacamole" and a little reggae, with a side of shoulder shimmy, into "kaleidoscope" while her husband nodded along with raised eyebrows.
(President Obama has two Grammys of his own, for the audio recordings of his first two memoirs in 2005 and 2007.)
Thursday's video was also a fresh taste of the former first couple's once-familiar repartee. The book they chose "illustrates the transformative power of words," the former president said. "I love words."
To which his wife replied dryly, "Yeah. Your favorite."
"He's the word guy."
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