I can think of quite a few shows that I loved as a kid, but one of my all time favorites was Reading Rainbow, hosted by LeVar Burton. Reading Rainbow aired new episodes on PBS from 1983 - 2006.
Each show would follow a theme, so for example, LeVar would explore Chinatown, a children's book relating to Chinese culture would be narrated and LeVar would interview related guests. In case you're wondering, the Chinatown episode was my favorite.
I would read a ton of Reading Rainbow inspired books and that's when I would get my Book It! certificate for a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. If you remember that, you just might be a kid (or you were a parent) in the 80's.
Every Reading Rainbow episode also had a book review given by a viewer. I would have given anything to be one of those kids. Do you think LeVar Burton will let me do a book review as an adult? A girl can dream.
I'm a little late to the game sometimes and I didn't realize that there is a Reading Rainbow iPad app until today. More LeVar Burton and more Reading Rainbow style field trips! I was so excited to share this with the kids so I downloaded the app and Lilia, her friend and Franky checked it out this afternoon.
When I signed up I had the option of giving my e-mail address for updates and more information. As a a part of this, you can check to see what your kids have been reading and for how many minutes.
Today, they read National Geographic Kids books on snakes and storms. I don't know if I really need to stalk their Reading Rainbow actions that much, but they have some other features on there for parents and teachers that might be useful.
The Reading Rainbow app offers 150 books and 16 video field trips. We downloaded it for free, but you can also opt to pay $9.99 a month or $29.99 for a six month subscription which will also get you unlimited access to all content, which is updated often.
I'm all about free apps, but if the kids really get through that much material, I would consider trying out the monthly fee. If it makes them half as interested in reading as the original Reading Rainbow did for me, it's well worth it.
Now, some more nostalgia. I will be officially singing this song for the rest of the night. My kids are going to love it.
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