From Reese Witherspoon to Natalie Portman: Listen to 11 celebrities read children’s books aloud

The #SaveWithStories initiative was launched by Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams

Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria attend the Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast Gala in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Phil McCarten
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There’s something both magical and practical about reading bedtime stories to children. Not only can it fire up young imaginations and promote lateral thinking, but it’s also proven to improve vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation.

Scores of talented creatives around the world are doing their part to help people feel better as they self-isolate amid the Covid-19 pandemic, using the internet to spread their message. Among these are Hollywood's leading ladies and gents – from Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Gal Gadot to Chris Pratt, Chris Evans and Eddie Redmayne – who are reading children's books aloud via Instagram Live.

The storytellers also include talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres (who bizarrely read an excerpt from her own book, Home, which profiles her real estate acquisitions), broadcaster Hoda Kotb, and musicians Camila Cabello, Pink and Bun B among others.

Zoe Saldana, meanwhile, read out a story in Spanish "for everybody who is curious about learning a new language or everybody who only speaks Spanish", while Eva Longoria read in English followed by a Spanish translation.

The #SaveWithStories initiative was kick-started by actresses Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams on Monday, March 16, and has already roped in close to 100 celebrities since. Apart from banishing boredom, the campaign aims to raise food and school supplies for the Save the Children and No Kid Hungry charities, with readers encouraging listeners to donate $10 (Dh37).

Here are a few famous voices your little ones – and, indeed, you –can tune in to. After all, how many of us can say we were lulled to sleep by Jeff Goldblum reading Horton Hears a Who?

'Uni the Unicorn', read by Reese Witherspoon

'Is your Mama a Llama?', read by Natalie Portman

'If you Give a Dog a Donut', read by Chris Evans 

'La Vide de Selena', a bilingual book read by Eva Longoria 

'This is Baby', read by Jimmy Fallon 

'Today I Feel Silly', read by Jamie Lee Curtis 

'Zog', read by Eddie Redmayne 

'Maverick and Me', read by Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger

'Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes', read by rapper Bun B

'Mae Among the Stars', read by Kerry Washington