Former First Lady Michelle Obama Pays Surprise Visit to Preschoolers at Skid Row Education Center

While in Los Angeles for her book tour, former first lady Michelle Obama spent a portion of Thursday reading to preschool children at the Para Los Niños Tina and Rick Caruso Early Education Center on skid row in downtown Los Angeles.

She read two books to the 4-year-olds assembled: “The Gruffalo” by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler, and “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney.

“It was incredibly unique, and what a special moment for our kids to see the power of reading,” said Drew Furedi, CEO of Para Los Niños. “They might not all know exactly who Mrs. Obama is, but they could tell her passion for what she was doing.”

After the reading, the students were allowed to pick three books each to take home from a selection of titles stacked on a classroom table. Many teachers were also given copies of the former first lady’s new book.

The memoir, “Becoming,” deals with everything from Obama's upbringing on Chicago’s South Side and years at Princeton University to her marriage to former President Barack Obama and the transition to the Trump administration.

Her 12-stop book tour kicked off Tuesday in Chicago, where she was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on everything from piano lessons and washing socks to crying on a plane the day her family moved out of the White House and President Donald Trump moved in.

"When I got on the plane, I sobbed for 30 minutes," she said. "I think it was just the release of eight years trying to do everything perfectly."

She didn't criticize Trump directly at the event despite direct criticism of him in her book.

The tour continues Thursday night with a sold-out appearance at The Forum in Inglewood.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.