The Gotham Group, a management and production company representing talent in the entertainment and book industries, has assembled a number of nonprofit organizations to share free videos for children under quarantine. The Gotham Reads series kicked off on April 22 at 3 p.m. ET with five YouTube videos: author Tony DiTerlizzi reading his book Ted; Gris Grimley reading Old MacDonald Had a Farm; Jerry Spinelli reading Stargirl; animator Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents) reading Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham; and actor AnnaSophia Robb (Little Fires Everywhere) reading B.J. Novak’s The Book with No Pictures.
Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Gotham founder and CEO, said in a statement, “Authors, illustrators, screenwriters, and content creators are eager to help bring some solace and normalcy to children around the world during these challenging times. Storytelling is an essential part of our lives. No one knows that better than these artists, whose unique voices have entertained and comforted millions of children for decades.”
In all, nearly 75 children’s authors, public figures, screenwriters, and performers will participate in the series by reading books and providing insight on their creative process. Mixed media production company 1stAveMachine is partnering with the Gotham Group to provide support for the project and to run the YouTube channel.
The Gotham Reads series will also be shared with organizations such as 826LA, Common Sense Media, Girls, Inc., Imagine LA, P.S. Arts, Save the Children, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and Young Storytellers to reach as many students as possible.