Video: At Library of Congress party, First Lady reads Dr. Seuss foodie classic; Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi also reads foodie book to kids...
This morning, First Lady Michelle Obama joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan and a bevy of celebrities at the Library of Congress to kick off Read Across America Day. The event is held each year to mark the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known to the world as Dr. Seuss. Mrs. Obama chose "Green Eggs and Ham," the foodiest book in the Seuss oeuvre, to read to a huge group of excited elementary school kids. (Above: The First Lady in action with Sec. Duncan)
The book's message is all about trying new foods, something Mrs. Obama frequently encourages as part of the Let's Move! campaign, as she woos kids to broaden their taste for healthy vegetables and fruit. The First Lady gave a rousing co-reading with Sec. Duncan.
"In our house, we read all the time," Mrs. Obama told the kids before she started reading. "President Obama is called the 'fact guy,' because he reads all the time."
UPDATE: Who will be Sam I Am?
The White House released a behind-the-scenes video of Mrs. Obama and Duncan backstage at the party, deciding who would voice the famous Seuss character Sam I am.
Top Chef host/judge Padma Lakshmi was also at the birthday party; Sam Kass, Mrs. Obama's Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives, spent plenty of time with Lakshmi filming the special Top Chef: DC episode that focused on school lunches. Kass was the guest judge for the episode, which aired last year.
Lakshmi is a mom, as is actress Jessica Alba, who also attended the event with her two-year-old, Honor. Both read to smaller groups of kids after the First Lady departed; Lakshmi read the very foodie "Skippyjon Jones Lost In Spice" by Judy Schachner. (Lakshmi tweeted the photo of herself getting set to read the book, above)
Actress Bridget Moynahan, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, and Donald Driver of the Super Bowl champs Green Bay Packers were also at the celebration. Dr. Seuss would have been 107 today; he was born on March 2, 1904, and died in 1991. The annual event is sponsored by the National Education Association.
*Top photo by Chuck Kennedy/White House; second via Padma Lakshmi