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Article  •  16 November 2020

 

Children's books loved by the Obamas

Here's a selection of children's stories that have received a big thumbs up from Barack and Michelle Obama. 

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1967)

One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him 'Wild Thing' and sends him to bed without his supper. That night a forest begins to grow in Max's room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are.

The iconic tale of mischievous Max's adventures before bedtime was read and acted out by both Michelle and Barack Obama at the White House's annual Easter Egg Roll in 2016. 

Best for ages: 2-5 years old

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)

When an old sea captain dies in his parent's inn, young Jim Hawkins finds himself holding the key to a vast fortune; a map that will lead him to Treasure Island. Featuring wild beasts, a host of true villains, and the most infamous pirate in all of literature, this classic adventure story has been cited as a childhood favourite of Barack's. 

Best for ages: 8-12 years old

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (1969)

During initial lockdowns, Michelle Obama chose some of her favourite children's stories to read aloud via PBS KIDS, and the first book chosen was The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

In case you're unfamiliar with this beloved picture book (on average a copy is sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds!), it tells the story of a little caterpillar with a big appetite and his surprising transformation. 

Best for ages: 3-5 years old

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck (Book 8) by Jeff Kinney (2013)

Malia and Sasha Obama have been spotted carrying copies of both Hard Luck and Cabin Fever, so we think it's fair to assume they were fans of the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series in their younger years!

In Hard Luck, Greg Heffley's on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama (2010)

Written by Obama whilst he was President, this inspirational picture book is framed as a beautiful letter to his daughters, and a moving tribute to the ideals that have shaped his nation. Accompanied by Loren Long's beautiful illustrations, this book celebrates the potential within all of us to pursue our dreams and make a difference in the world. 

Featured Titles

Where The Wild Things Are
An anniversary edition to celebrate 60 years of Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak's bestselling classic of twentieth-century children's literature
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Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson's cherished, unforgettable adventure
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle's classic and much loved picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
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Hard Luck: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (BK8)
Jeff Kinney's 8th book of this hilarious and highly successful series, and Greg Heffley and his friends now have a whole new set of adventures.
Read more
Of Thee I Sing
A stunning picture book by former US President Barack Obama that's perfect to share and inspire children to achieve their dreams.
Read more

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