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Laura Bush surprises Jenna with sweet video on Read with Jenna anniversary

“By sharing your favorite books you’re inspiring more Americans to fall in love with reading,” the former first lady told her daughter.
/ Source: TODAY

In honor of the fifth anniversary of Read with Jenna, TODAY's Jenna Bush Hager's book club, dozens of authors descended on the TODAY plaza to help celebrate Jenna's love of reading.

But it wasn't just authors Jenna selected for her book club who helped the TODAY with Hoda & Jenna co-host celebrate the milestone: Jenna also received a video message congratulating her success from her mother, former first lady Laura Bush.

"As we celebrate Read Across America Day, I congratulate you on five years of the Read with Jenna book club," Laura Bush said. "I'm thrilled you're packing up each of your Read with Jenna selections and sending the books to a library in all 50 states.

"By sharing your favorite books you're inspiring more Americans to fall in love with reading," she continued. "So here's to another five years of happy reading for you and all the TODAY show viewers. Love you!"

Jenna smiled and got emotional as she watched the video, and then exclaimed: "She looks amazing!"

She then told TODAY's Carson Daly that her mom is an example of "what reading does for your skin," which inspired Carson to run and pick up all five of Jenna's favorite books as Al Roker told him to rub them on his face.

The antics occurred as authors on the TODAY plaza were hard at work packing up 50 boxes of more than 60 Read with Jenna picks to send to libraries in all 50 U.S. states.

Jenna Bush Book Club
Jenna smiles with several authors from her Read With Jenna book club.TODAY

"In honor of five years of reading together — those are all our incredible Read with Jenna authors — they are boxing up complete sets of books y'all, and I am so excited," Jenna said.

"They are shipping these books to a library in all 50 states! 50 libraries that will be receiving these books, it's a perfect way to celebrate because tomorrow is also Read Across America Day. And y'all know I love the libraries," she added.

The authors stood on what Jenna described as an "assembly line," formed in the shape of the number five of course, as they packed each copy into boxes.

Jenna has chosen 63 selections for her Read With Jenna book club over five years, and 41 titles became New York Times bestsellers. Additionally, 32 of the picks have been optioned for TV or film.

TODAY's Hoda Kotb commended her TODAY with Hoda & Jenna co-host for her accomplishments.

"Can we just give an 'atta girl' to Jenna Bush Hager for a minute, too? Because this is something she started five years ago," Hoda said. "You brought it up, you wandered through, you said 'I think people should read more.' And it has turned into a juggernaut."

"When I see a Read with Jenna sticker, I want it," she continued. "The countless number of New York Times bestsellers, the movies, the television shows, like all the cool things that Jenna has been able to do, it's been amazing."

TODAY's Craig Melvin added: "You've helped get America reading again."

"I've helped getting Craig Melvin reading again, which is all that matters," Jenna cheekily replied, noting he had read a couple of her Read with Jenna picks.