WASHINGTON: An amused President Barack Obama read a children’s book to a gathering of boys and girls at the White House, then peppered them with questions: Had any of them lost a tooth? Had any climbed trees? Had any fallen after climbing?
It was all part of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, which attracted 30,000 children and parents to the Executive Mansion’s South Lawn on Monday for a day of festivities.
Obama, with his dog Bo seated beside him, narrated the popular illustrated book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom about alphabet letters and their adventures climbing up a coconut tree.
“So clearly the alphabet is full of troublemakers,” the president concluded after offering his rendition.
Moments earlier, speaking from the White House’s Truman Balcony, Obama thanked the crowd on the sunny springtime day before joining in the egg roll.
The president also joined professional basketball players for a game of hoops with several children.
Obama was less successful on his own — taking 15 tries to sink a basket. On a day that kids devote to bunny-shaped chocolates and jelly beans, first lady Michelle Obama was able to stress her mission of physical fitness and healthy eating habits.
“Eat your vegetables,” she declared, after reading Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to children in a story time area nestled under a tree. The couple’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, shared reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
The South Lawn was transformed into a kaleidoscope of colors as boys and girls played games to the sounds of kids’ show tunes, snacked on apples and got a chance to meet professional athletes and entertainers.
The White House confirmed that among the thousands of families at the egg roll were some from Newtown, Conn., where a mass school shooting took place in December. The family of slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton also attended the event.