Hoda Kotb's Daughters 'Have No Idea' How Famous She Is: They Ask 'How Do They Know You?' (Exclusive)

The 'Today' show star spoke to PEOPLE about daughters Haley and Hope's reaction to her fame

<p>John Nacion/Getty ; Hoda Kotb/Instagram</p> Hoda Kotb and daughters Hayley and Hope

John Nacion/Getty ; Hoda Kotb/Instagram

Hoda Kotb and daughters Hayley and Hope

Hoda Kotb says her two daughters have no idea just how famous their mother is.

While attending the Hudson River Park Friends 8th Annual Playground Committee Luncheon in New York City on Friday, the Today show anchor, 59, told PEOPLE that daughters Haley, 7, and Hope, 4, don’t understand why she gets recognized in public.

“They do ask me often, ‘How do they know you?’ because we're walking and somebody will ask a question. And I go, ‘I don't know, probably the grocery,’ ” Kotb said.

“[They ask,] ‘How does that lady know your name? That lady knew my name!’ I go, ‘Probably because you met her in Kidville,' " she added.

<p>John Nacion/Getty</p> Kotb attends Hudson River Park Friends 8th Annual Playground Committee Luncheon

John Nacion/Getty

Kotb attends Hudson River Park Friends 8th Annual Playground Committee Luncheon

Related: Hoda Kotb Opens Up About Daughter Hope's Health Crisis in Emotional First Interview: 'So Resilient' (Exclusive)

Kotb explained that her daughters also “have no idea” that she works on television, “but they do know it's Mommy's office.”

The journalist and author told PEOPLE she was recently awarded cool points as a mom for bringing daughter Haley and her first-grade classmates to visit her at work on the Today set.

“They do know that something's going on. But I do think when [Haley’s] classmates came, she was sort of like, ‘Oh, my mom's cool,’ ” Kotb said. “She's seen it before and didn't think so much of it.”

“But I think it was really cool because she was like the teacher. ‘Come on, guys. That's the teleprompter,’ ” Kotb recalled her daughter telling her classmates. “I was like, 'How do you know all that?' So it was a real treat. I think she felt kind of special that day.”

Related: Hoda Kotb's Daughters Hope and Haley Crash Her Interview with Jimmy Fallon: 'Future of the Today Show'

During the event, Kotb also spoke about what she learned during the writing process of her new children’s book, Hope Is a Rainbow, which is dedicated to her younger daughter.

“I learned that usually hope's always apparent, but you have to seek it out. It's not coming to you. It's not knocking on your door and going, ‘Hi.’ You have to go find it,” Kotb said.

“So it's really where you fix your gaze in life. So I think it's important to set your eyes where you want to be, with the people you want to be, focusing on the thing you want to focus on. Because if you're with a bunch of complaining friends, you're going down with them. Okay? You find your lane and ride it," she continued.

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Kotb previously shared with PEOPLE that “the book was written initially because of who [Hope] is,” adding, “I thought her goodness should be spread around.”

The release of her latest book comes a year after Kotb was absent from Today for two weeks after Hope experienced a medical crisis as she remained in the intensive care unit (ICU) for days and was hospitalized for over a week.

Kotb also previously penned the book I’ve Loved You Since Forever, which celebrates adoption.

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