We should all be so lucky as to have a teacher that is reaching out like this and creating new opportunities for learning with their kids:
Regardless of whether or not this “gets big”, you have done something spectacular here. The risk you are taking is not simply for trying something new but also for doing it in a dramatically new way. Read alouds are a great method for engaging kids (of any age) in the act of reading, but by connecting it with real authors and with other classrooms around the country, you are changing the way in which we think about a shared experience.
By creating a shared experience with those in different locations or different backgrounds, you are showing these students just how connected learning can be. I would be surprised if these students do not remember this book and their experiences with coming to understand it for the rest of their lives. Keep on connecting. Keep on reading.