The children's books loved by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Looking for some reads with the Michelle Obama seal of approval? Say no more. Here are the former first lady's favourite bedtime stories

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

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For Alexander, it seems that one disastrous day just can't get any worse (we've all been there).

Michelle Obama read this classic story to a group of eight- to ten-year-olds at a Washington school, and followed it with a discussion on how to cope with those very bad days.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr

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No big deal, but this is one of the 'Top 100 Picture Books' of all time. Not a lot happens, but its charm has won over generations of kids.

One news report said that Michelle seemed to know the words by heart, meowing and barking along with the audience at a community health organisation in Washington.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

What do Mumsnetters think?

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear has been a top favourite for two of my children. It's one of the few books I don't mind reading even after (literally) the 100th time.” – neolara

The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

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Who hasn't heard of this rhyming feline? Dr Seuss' classic tale of the cat who turned a dull, rainy day into a magical adventure is a go-to for any parent – and Michelle Obama is no exception.

She once used the story to entertain a dozen preschoolers during a visit to military families in North Carolina, and talked about the author in her ALA (American Library Association) talk.

cat in the hat by dr seuss

What do Mumsnetters think?

“I'm even enjoying The Cat in the Hat now that I come back to it as an adult. It's amazing that the words and rhyming style are so simple, yet he manages to make the cat so charismatic.” – snowleopard

Olivia by Ian Falconer

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Olivia is a pig of all trades: she's saved a circus, joined a band, and pioneered an intense 'Santa watch'. However, the series all began with a simple look into a day-in-the-life of the porcine heroine.

The book was a hit when Michelle read it at the University of South Carolina Children's Center.

olivia by Ian Falconer

What do Mumsnetters think?

“Wonderful. A charming portrait of a precocious piglet named Olivia, with guest appearances from brother Ian and their cat. I challenge you not to see similarities with your own daughters.” – dilbertina

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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A favourite across generations, Where the Wild Things Are follows Max as he's transported from his bedroom to the land of the 'Wild Things'.

It's a hit with the whole Obama family, with Barack once saying that “my wife still thinks I'm Max”.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

What do Mumsnetters think?

“All kids love Where The Wild Things Are. It has the added bonus of being fun to read aloud.” – paulaplumpbottom

Babar by Jean de Brunhoff

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Jean de Brunhoff’s tales of Babar have charmed readers around the world for 80 years. His stories have followed the king of the elephants as he builds a city, starts a family and even meets Father Christmas.

In her ALA speech in June 2018, Michelle referenced Babar as one of the first books she checked out of her local library.


What do Mumsnetters think?

“Babar the elephant is adorable.” – treaclesoda

Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Buy now for £4.92

Another bedtime classic, Good Night Moon can get even the most energetic tots to sleep. Its timeless status is sealed by a simple premise, vivid illustrations, and gentle rhythm and rhyme.

When asked her favourite book on Take Your Child to Work Day in 2011, Michelle listed it as one of her top children's storybooks.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

What do Mumsnetters think?

“With its soothing rhymes, it's easy to see why this children's book has retained its popularity.” – Alitoomanykids

becoming michelle obama

Fascinated by political figures? Check out our round-up of the best political biographies.

You can now pre-order Michelle Obama's autobiography, Becoming