Jenna Bush Hager recalls in her new interview for Parents how she got "a cozy, secure feeling" when Laura and George W. Bush would read to her as a child

By Ally Mauch
July 10, 2020 10:45 AM
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For Jenna Bush Hager, loving books is a family tradition.

In her August cover story for Parents magazine, the Today co-host said that her parents passed down their love of reading to her — and it's something she now shares with her own children: son Henry "Hal" Harold, who turns 1 in August, plus daughters Poppy Louise, 5 in August, and Margaret "Mila" Laura, 7.

"Our mom made sure my sister and I were surrounded with wonderful books from the time we were babies," Bush Hager, 38, said of former First Lady Laura Bush, who used to work as a librarian.

She added that both her mother and father, former President George W. Bush, frequently read to her and her twin sister Barbara Pierce Bush when they were children.

"Most often, my parents would read to us in their bed. The four of us would all be in there together while my mom and dad took turns reading out loud. That gave us such a cozy, secure feeling," Bush Hager said, later noting that she also got her love of mystery novels from her dad.

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Jenna Bush Hager and her kids on the cover of Parents
Mei Tao for PARENTS

A book lover and former teacher, Bush Hager has written several books of her own, including one she co-authored with Pierce Bush titled Sisters First: Stories From Our Wild and Wonderful Life.

"The way women were talked about during the 2016 election was not what we saw reflected in our own lives and nothing we wanted girls to grow up with," she told Parents when talking about the nonfiction book, which features personal stories from the former first daughters.

"We wanted to write about women lifting each other up. It was also a love letter to each other because we feel that having a sister has made us braver, more confident and more daring," the mom of three added.

Jenna Bush Hager and her daughters for Parents
Mei Tao for PARENTS

RELATED VIDEO: Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush Share the Books That Changed Their Lives

Bush Hager also discussed her kids' sibling dynamic, sharing that "the girls win" when it comes to spending time with baby Hal, who gave their brother his nickname.

"Mila said recently, 'He's the baby of our dreams!' " she said.

Once able to travel again, Bush Hager wants to show her three children "all the magnificent parts of our country."

"My mom passed down her love of the national parks, and I got engaged in Acadia National Park," she said.