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30th March 2020

Coronavirus: Bedtime stories with celebrities to comfort children stuck at home

BY: Sky News

As schools and nurseries around the world shut down due to coronavirus, two Hollywood actresses are doing their bit to help children in need.

Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams have created Save With Stories, a US charity that not only entertains kids by reading them books, but also raises money to make sure vulnerable children are getting enough food while they're out of school due to COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

In partnership with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry, they've gathered together a whole host of celebrities to tell stories on Facebook and Instagram.

Here's our favourite eight celebrity bedtime stories.

Jake Gyllenhaal

A tousle-haired and denim-shirted Jake Gyllenhaal reads Where Do Balloons Go? - an "uplifting mystery" by Jamie Lee Curtis.

A thoughtful Gyllenhaal holds each page, illustrated by Laura Cornell, close to the camera, making sure no one misses out on the bright and colourful pictures.

The 39-year-old actor seems particularly delighted to describe "a big balloon dance", for which he folds out four pages and deftly tucks one under his chin.

Speaking for us all, one fan commented: "Bedtime stories with Jake Gyllenhaal please. Needs to be a thing."

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Reese Witherspoon

In a pink cardigan, reminiscent of her Legally Blonde Days, Reese Witherspoon reads Uni The Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Brigette Barrager.

The mother-of-three sits on a striped sofa in front of ornate bird-printed wallpaper to deliver her story from her living room.

Frequently adding her own comments, Reese admits that like Uni, the book's hero (who wears gold glittery horseshoes), "I love fancy shoes too".

She also exclaims "holy cow" when expressing how much fun sliding down rainbows must be.

She tells listeners: "It's a story about believing, which is very important."

Jeff Bridges

Wearing a colourful green V-neck kaftan, veteran actor Jeff Bridges reads All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon.

Commenting on the "wonderful" illustrations by Marla Frazee, Jeff is particularly good at his roaring wind impression, bringing the weather to life from his own front room.

"All the world is cold and hot," he reads, adding "and ain't that the truth, you can't have one without the other".

Refusing to be phased by his somewhat creaky chair, the 70-year-old star asks fans to "take care of each other", adding "and that's not just us people, it's animals and bugs and trees and forests too".

Jennifer Garner

As a co-creator of the fund, Jennifer Garner reads not one story but two, both from her flower and lemon-filled garden.

First, she reads The Three Little Fish And The Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist, illustrated by Julia Gorton - and being down with the kids, she reads it from her iPad rather than a book.

Some of her more animated actions (the big bad shark loves to "munch" and "crunch") will leave you fearing for the safety of her device at points…

She also grabs a real book to read Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Felicia Bond - kissing its front cover to show how much it means to her.

Chris Evans

Captain America give us a Marvel-worthy performance of If You Give A Dog A Donut by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond.

The 38-year-old star is known for his love of dogs, and his close bond with his own mixed-breed boxer, Dodger.

In his lumberjack-chic plaid shirt, Chris tells us about the book's canine hero putting on a bandana in a bid to dress up as a pirate with a wry smile and look to camera.

Making the most of the book's pay off, he then sits back to bask in the glory of his own reading.

Lupita Nyong'o

Dressed in a beautiful, bright Kenyan print dress, against a marbled batik background, Lupita reads Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima.

Starting off by singing "Hello young world", she tells the tale of a little narwhal called Kelp who is different from all the rest.

Reminiscent of the Little Mermaid, he finds his way onto dry land in a bid to find a creature just like him. Of course, a happy ending lies in store.

Watch out for Lupita's Oscar-worthy narwhal impressions and killer "The End".

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres takes a novel approach to the story-telling challenge, by reading her own book Ellen DeGeneres.

Flanked by her Siamese cat George and various dogs watching her from the comfort of the sofa - including a whining Jack Russell called Oggy, she reads her book to the kids telling them: "Its never too early to learn about design."

The book tells the story of some of her homes (note: not "all"), and what she learnt from each of them.

She starts: "Every weekend Portia [de Rossi] and I look at real estate listings, actually that's a lie, we look at it every day. It's our version of the comics."

She goes on to joke about going to supper with friends and ending up negotiating to buy their mansion, adding: "Don't invite us over unless you're ready to move out."

Ellen's furry Birkenstock sandals, worn with grey socks, add a certain gravitas to the tongue-in-cheek tale of a Beverly Hills house.

Jeff Goldblum

Saving the best 'till last, Jeff Goldblum takes to a tree house to "rediscover" a book his mother read to him as a kid, Horton Hears A Who by Dr Seuss.

It will be no surprise that the jazz-loving, off-the-wall star gives the surreal tale his own unique twist.

The longest tale on the site so far, listeners can enjoy over 20 minutes of Goldblum silliness at its best.

Horton the elephant, kangaroos and Who's unite to leave a sensitive Goldblum "overwrought" and with a tear in his eye.

He finishes on a Dr Seuss-esque rhyme: "I wish you all well, and I hope that we all,

"Do whatever we can, no matter how small,

"Signing off, I love you all."

(c) Sky News 2020: Coronavirus: Bedtime stories with celebrities to comfort children stuck at home

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