As coronavirus lockdowns increase, people all over the country are adjusting to new realities of working from home. And that often means keeping young children entertained while staying sane yourself.
To help out in trying times, celebs like Josh Gad (your kids may know him as the guy who voices Olaf in the Frozen movies), Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner have recorded videos of themselves reading children’s books and short stories out loud.
Known as “Operation Storytime,” the initiative is meant to provide some much-needed distraction for both kids and their caregivers as well as raise funds for kids who rely on free school lunch programs.
Here are some children’s stories you can watch and listen to right now:
Josh Gad reads “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein
As a special treat to little ones who are obsessed with “Frozen,” the actor who voiced Olaf posted a Twitter video of himself reading Shel Silverstein’s classic children’s book “The Giving Tree.”
“We’re going to do this for, it seems, at least a little while longer,” Josh Gad says in the video, referring to the lockdowns. “So gather up the kids or yourselves or your millennial friends and start a fire if it’s cold.”
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) March 15, 2020
Jennifer Garner reads “The Mitten” by Jan Brett
You may know her from “Dallas Buyers’ Club” and “13 Going On 30” but your kids will like Jennifer Garner’s calming voice as she reads a classic story about a lost mitten.
“If you drop a white mitten in the snow, it will be hard to find,” Garner reads in the two-minute video she posted on her Instagram account.
Jan Brett reads “Cozy” by Jan Brett
If your kids liked the video of Garner reading “The Mitten,” good news. Jan Brett, the best-selling author who wrote the book, posted a video of herself reading a sample from her new book “Cozy” — a book about a musk ox set to debut in October.
Jan Brett reads her new Fall 2020 book Cozy a Musk Ox @Romper #OperationStorytime
Posted by Jan Brett on Sunday, March 15, 2020
Amy Adams reads “The Dinosaur Princess” by Aviana Olea Le Gallo
Known as one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, Amy Adams posted a video of herself reading “The Dinosaur Princess” — a book written by her 10-year-old daughter Aviana Olea Le Gallo and illustrated by her husband Darren Le Gallo. Adams and Garner also encouraged their viewers to help out children who rely on the food provided by their schools to not go hungry.
“Thirty million children in the United States rely on school for food,” Adams wrote in the caption for her video. “School closures will hit vulnerable communities hard.”
View this post on Instagram
I’ve decided to finally join to shine a spotlight on kids across the country who need our help and support during this difficult time. My friend @jennifer.garner and I are launching @SAVEWITHSTORIES – a spot to watch your favorite celebrities read your favorite children’s books. We are galvanizing as a community to support a new fund for a combined effort between SAVE THE CHILDREN and Share Our Strength’s NO KID HUNGRY (and a big thank you to our founding publisher, Scholastic♥️). THIRTY MILLION CHILDREN in the United States rely on school for food. School closures will hit vulnerable communities hard and @savethechildren and @nokidhungry are on the ground and ready to serve. They just need our help! These funds will help us make sure that families know how to find meals when schools are closed, support mobile meal trucks, food banks and other community feeding programs, provide educational toys, books and worksheets, and support out-of-school-time programs to help kids make up for lost time in the classroom. If you can manage a one time gift of $10, please text SAVE to 20222. If another amount would work better for you, please visit our website—link in bio. There is no maximum and there is no minimum—together we will rise and together we can help. #SAVEWITHSTORIES
Mac Barnett reading a book a day
Beloved children’s book author Mac Barnett has committed to reading a book a day for the next little while. His most recent video is one of him reading “Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem.”
View this post on Instagram
Hey, tomorrow morning (3/15) at noon Pacific I’m going to read my first picture book, Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, out loud right here on Instagram Live. If you can’t make it, I think it stays up for 24 hours—I don’t know, I’ve never used Instagram Live before, we will figure this out together. Then on Monday at noon I’m going to read my second picture book. I’ll keep going for a while, probably. I’ve got about a month’s worth of picture books, and if we run out I might read some chapter books or something. Who knows? See you tomorrow, maybe!
Reese Witherspoon reads “Uni the Unicorn” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Actress Reese Witherspoon recorded a video of herself reading a unicorn story — “Uni the Unicorn,” a best-selling children’s book about a unicorn who dreams of one day meeting a little girl.
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“Uni the Unicorn” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Brigette Barrager (published by @randomhousekids) . THIRTY MILLION CHILDREN rely on school for food. Responding to the needs of kids during school closures, @savethechildren and @nokidhungry have a new fund @SAVEWITHSTORIES to support food banks, and mobile meal trucks, and community feeding programs with funds to do what they do best—and also—with educational toys, books, and worksheets to make sure brains are full, as well as bellies. . If you can manage a one time gift of $10, please text SAVE to 20222. If another amount would work better for you, please visit our website—link in bio. There is no maximum and there is no minimum—together we will rise and together we can help. . Thank you and stay safe. XX #SAVEWITHSTORIES