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At Michelle Obama book-signing: laughs, smiles and even a roar

Crown Publishing told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the former first lady's memoir has sold more than 1.4 million copies in all formats in the U.S. and Canada in the seven days since it was released Nov. 13.

Crown Publishing told The Associated Press on Nov. 21, 2018 that the former first lady's memoir has sold more than 1.4 million copies in all formats in the U.S. and Canada in the seven days since it was released Nov. 13, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

John Cross roared like a lion at Michelle Obama.

The former first lady roared back at the two year old.

And then she promptly, with a laugh and smile, signed a copy of her memoir “Becoming” for the boy’s mother, who explained the lad dressed as the king of the jungle for Halloween.

It was one of hundreds of little memories for people who waited hours Tuesday at the University of Chicago to attend the book-signing.

The collared shirt and tie that 11-year-old Gregory Primus wore to the event looked familiar to Obama.

“She told me that I look like President Barack Obama … I was kind of shocked, because this is my uniform for school,” said Gregory, who attends the British International School of Chicago.

Jurl Vinegar III was a paid a nice compliment by Obama.

“She told me that I was cute,” Vinegar, 28, who wore a natty fedora over a broad smile, said with a laugh.

“But I let her know that I was a married man and I know that she’s in a relationship,” he joked.

“I’m so proud of everything she’s done for the city of Chicago and the United States,” said Vinegar, a grad student at the University of Chicago.

Michelle Obama signs her memoir "Becoming" at a Chicago bookstore Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.

Michelle Obama meets fans in Chicago as her national book tour kicked off Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, at Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Hyde Park. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times)

Ashley Cureton, who’s also a U of C grad student, told Obama, “You’re my fashion icon. I love you so much. Thank you for everything you do.”

I was like, “Oh my gosh, what am I going to say to her,” said Sabrina Kimble, a freshman at the university. “I said, ‘Thank you so much for inspiring me as a young black student to apply to this school.”

Interactions were curt, but not because Obama cut them short.

Smiling representatives from her publishing company stood over each shoulder, offering a brusque “Thank you!” to the chatty.

No one seemed miffed.