In the face of coronavirus, it’s heartwarming to hear stories about people coming together to help others, especially during a time of self-isolation. By now, you’ve probably heard Josh Gad (who voices Olaf in Frozen) and author Mo Willems are reading stories and creating doodles, respectively, to entertain kids stuck indoors—and they aren’t the only creators stepping up.
Operation Storytime, or #OperationStorytime on social media, is a great way to find and keep track of authors, illustrators and celebrities who are finding ways to bring education, entertainment and stress-relief to families.
Some popular names include author Dan Gutman, who’ll read chapters from his My Weird School series on Facebook every weekday at 2 pm EST until kids are back in school. Children’s author Mac Barnett is reading a different book each day at 3 pm ET on Instagram Live. Penguin Kids will host a live read aloud on its Instagram every week day at 11 am EST.
If you don’t want to wait, thanks to Operation Storytime there’s plenty of stories your family can listen to right now. Kids can hear a reading of Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes by Eva Chen on Instagram. Illustrator Sophie Blackall has a reading of Ivy and Bean, One Big Happy Family on her YouTube page. You can even catch actress Jennifer Garner reading The Mitten on Instagram.
Catch celebrities like Oprah, Kristen Bell, Wanda Sykes, Chris Pine, Viola Davis and more reading children’s stories on the YouTube channel StoryOnline.
In addition, Scholastic is throwing a free Home Base Virtual Book Fest on Friday, March 20 at 3 pm EST, which includes authors like Claribel A. Orega (Ghost Squad), Sarah Mylnowski (Whatever After series), Sayantani Dasgupta (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond) and the infamous R.L. Stine (Goosebumps). Kids can ask the authors questions, dress in costumes, dance, answer trivia and more.
Audible is offering free, on-demand storytime with Audible Stories, available to everyone, including those without a subscription. These include classic tales like Winnie-the-Pooh and Beatrix Potter, plus stories in six different languages.
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