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19 Virtual Storytimes with Authors, Actors and Celebrities

For parents that need 10 minutes, or even 30 minutes, to get something done around the house, authors and celebrities around the globe are dedicating their time to help. It’s perfectly OK to pop open YouTube, Facebook or Instagram Live to let someone else read for you. Here is a list of the times and dates to watch for celebrity read-alouds for kids (and readers) of all ages. 

Recurring

Storyline

When: Always on

Where: YouTube

Celebrities will read stories to your kids in prerecorded videos sponsored by SAG/Aftra at Storyline. If there’s a book you don’t have, or you just can’t read another round of the same book, let these guys take over for you.

Julia Cook

When: 9 a.m. Mondays & Fridays

Where: Facebook

The author of books about peer pressure, bullies, boogers, and OK, personal space, will read her books twice each week. Parents of elementary-aged kids are also encouraged to check out her website, which is full of helpful info. 

Jennifer Trafton

When: 10 a.m. weekdays

Where: Facebook

A chapter a day of Henry and the Chalk Dragon from the author herself. Fans can catch up on Facebook as the videos are saved. 

Pete The Cat Club

When: 11 a.m. weekdays

Where: Instagram

Read stories with Pete the Cat and artist James Dean, then learn to draw and take part in contests to win groovy prizes. 

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Tara Laser

When: 11 a.m. weekdays

Where: Instagram

Author of 7 Ate 8 and other books will read them each day. Also, follow her on Instagram for more fun projects she’s working on at home. 

Peter H. Reynolds

When: 11 a.m. weekdays

Where: Facebook

Watch doodles, painting and reading with the author of Say Something, The Word Collector and ish, among many others.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

When: Noon weekdays

Where: Facebook

The Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems, author of the Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny and Elephant and Piggie series, hosts drawing tutorials at noon daily on Facebook Live. Learn to draw Piggie, Gerald, Pigeon and many other favorites from his home studio.

Diane Alber

When: Noon weekdays

Where: Facebook

The author of Scribble books (I’m NOT Just a Scribble, Never Let a Unicorn Scribble, Scribble Stones, etc.) reads one of her books daily at noon. Watch for announcements of free downloads and painting tutorials.

Tony DiTerlizzi

When: Noon weekdays

Where: Facebook

Middle readers will love to see the illustrator work through his process. Using both his hands and a computer, kids can catch up on the illustration process with archived videos.

Dan Gutmann

When: 1 p.m. weekdays

Where: Facebook

The author reads three chapters from his books each day. Videos are saved if you need to catch up in the book.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka

When: 1 p.m. weekdays

Where: YouTube

Middle reader author and illustrator of The Lunch Lady and Platypus Police Squad book series reads and draws every day with “Draw Every Day,” his YouTube series.

Mac Barnett

When: 2 p.m./7 p.m. weekdays

Where: Instagram

Don your favorite chapeau (hat) for Mac’s Book Club Show (and Show After Dark for chapter books). The author has penned the Jack series (rabbit stories), Mac B. Kid Spy series, Brixton Brothers series and Terrible Twos series, among many others. 

Oliver Jeffers Storytime

When: 1 p.m. weekdays

Where: Instagram

On Instagram Live, kids and parents can listen to author Oliver Jeffers read his young reader books (How To Catch a Star, The Way Back Home, The Day the Crayons Quit, etc.) once each day.

Andrew Peterson

When: 7 p.m. weekdays

Where: Facebook

Great for middle schoolers, the author of the Wingfeather Saga books (1 & 2 are released, 3 & 4 come later this year) reads to families each night.

Josh Gad

When: Every night

Where: Instagram Live & Twitter Live

The actor who voices Olaf in Frozen reads books (and does all the voices) for families at bedtime. Gad has his own family, so the time changes each night. Follow #GadBookClub on Twitter and Instagram for that night’s reading.

Goodnight with Dolly

When: Every Thursday at 6 p.m.

Where: YouTube

Dolly Parton has launched a weekly series to read children’s books online at bedtime through her nonprofit, Imagination Library. 

Selected readings

Tiffani Thiessen & Brady Smith

When: 2 p.m. March 26

Where: Instagram

Actress, TV chef and mom Tiffani Thiessen is known to Gen Xers for her roles on Saved By The Bell and Beverly Hills 90210, to Millennials from White Collar and to anyone who watches Food Network from Dinner at Tiffani’s. She and husband, Brady Smith, wrote a children’s book – You’re Missing It – about the perils of being stuck on your phone.

B.J. Novak

When: 2 p.m. March 27

Where: Facebook

B.J. Novak was a writer, actor and producer on The Office, then wrote a children’s book with no pictures called The Book with No Pictures.


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