Obama's wildest 'Where the Wild Things Are' faces

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Obama's wildest 'Where the Wild Things Are' faces
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: U.S. President Barack Obama acts out a part of the story while reading from the book 'Where The Wild Things Are' during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 9, 2012 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people people are expected to attend the 134-year-old tradition of rolling colored eggs down the White House lawn that was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: U.S. President Barack Obama acts out a part of the story while reading from the book 'Where The Wild Things Are' during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 9, 2012 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people people are expected to attend the 134-year-old tradition of rolling colored eggs down the White House lawn that was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama reads "Where the Wild things Are" during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, Monday, April 9, 2012, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
US President Barack Obama reads the book, 'Where the Wild Things Are,' to children attending the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 21, 2014. The 126th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the largest annual public event at the White House with more than 30,000 attendees expected, features live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and Easter egg rolling, with the theme, 'Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape.' AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 21: U.S. President Barack Obama read to children from the book 'Where the Wild Things Are' during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn April 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. President Obama and the first lady hosted thousands of children for the annual White House event dating back to 1876 that features live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling, as well as the Easter egg roll this year. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama reads the book, 'Where the Wild Things Are,' to children attending the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 21, 2014. The 126th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the largest annual public event at the White House with more than 30,000 attendees expected, features live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and Easter egg rolling, with the theme, 'Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape.' AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama reads the book, 'Where the Wild Things Are,' to children attending the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 21, 2014. The 126th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the largest annual public event at the White House with more than 30,000 attendees expected, features live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and Easter egg rolling, with the theme, 'Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape.' AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama reads the book, 'Where the Wild Things Are,' to children attending the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 21, 2014. The 126th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the largest annual public event at the White House with more than 30,000 attendees expected, features live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and Easter egg rolling, with the theme, 'Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape.' AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama reads the book, 'Where the Wild Things Are,' to children attending the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 21, 2014. The 126th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the largest annual public event at the White House with more than 30,000 attendees expected, features live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and Easter egg rolling, with the theme, 'Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape.' AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: U.S. President Barack Obama acts out a part of the story while reading from the book 'Where The Wild Things Are' with first lady Michelle Obama (L) and his daughter Sasha (R) during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 9, 2012 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people people are expected to attend the 134-year-old tradition of rolling colored eggs down the White House lawn that was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: U.S. President Barack Obama acts out a part of the story while reading from the book 'Where The Wild Things Are' with first lady Michelle Obama during the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 9, 2012 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people people are expected to attend the 134-year-old tradition of rolling colored eggs down the White House lawn that was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - APRIL 13: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama impersonates characters from the book 'Where the Wild Things Are' while reading it to children during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 13, 2009 in Washington, DC. The event dates back to 1878 and is named for races where children push colored eggs across the grass using wooden spoons. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - APRIL 13: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama impersonates characters from the book 'Where the Wild Things Are' while reading it to children, as his mother-in-law Marian Robinson (L) looks on, during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 13, 2009 in Washington, DC. The event dates back to 1878 and is named for races where children push colored eggs across the grass using wooden spoons. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama reads "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak, to children at the White House Easter Egg Roll, in Washington, Monday, April 13, 2009. His daughter Sasha listens at left. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
President Barack Obama reads "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak, to children at the White House Easter Egg Roll, in Washington, Monday, April 13, 2009. He is joined by first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia, left, and Sasha. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Stacy A. Anderson, Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A teeth-gnashing U.S. president reprised what has become an annual at the Easter Egg Roll Monday by reading the Maurice Sendak classic Where the Wild Things Are to children gathered on the White House lawn.

With a group of children arrayed before him for the colourful springtime ritual on the White House South Lawn, Barack Obama mimicked the book's monsters, growling and challenging the youngsters to a staring contest.

Under sunny skies with mere wisps of clouds overhead Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama was flanked by the president and an Easter bunny on the White House's Truman Balcony as she said the emphasis of the 136th Easter Egg Roll would be healthy eating and staying active.

The event's theme was "Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape" and featured live music, yoga and obstacle courses in addition to the egg roll, sports and storytelling.

Obama Gives Most Dramatic 'Where The Wild Things Are' Book Reading Yet

But if there was a feat he did not want to repeat, it was his 1-for-15 hoops shooting from last year. This time, the president, an avid basketball fan and pick-up game player, missed his first two shots from the foul line of the White House's outdoor court, and then sank his third.

Wearing khakis and with his sleeves rolled up, the president also hit tennis balls, posed for photographs and joined his wife in encouraging children in an Easter egg roll race.

Ms. Obama also participated in a healthy snack cooking demonstration with celebrity chef Marc Murphy and cast members of Disney's "Jessie." The group prepared fruit salad with honey and kale smoothies.

"I have a smoothie like this almost every day," she said, adding that she likes to include green apples and ginger in her green drink.

Ms. Obama did her own storytelling, making an appearance with the family's dogs, Sunny and Bo, who quickly disappeared for their own walks with National Park Service staffers. The first lady read My Garden to the youngsters and asked what non-foods they would grow in their garden. After the children replied "money," she said, "Wow, this is a very sophisticated crew."

"You guys have big dreams," she added. "I love it."

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