6 June 1983
7 June 1983
As part of his birthday celebration, LeVar gets made-up like a movie monster, and then gets involved in Harry Blackstone's magic act. Ruth Buzzi reads Miss Nelson Is Back, all about a group of rowdy students who try to take advantage of their teacher's absence when she's out sick one day, and how she gets revenge on them by pretending to be "the meanest teacher in the world, Viola Swamp."
8 June 1983
LeVar is already worn out after working on several scenes all day long on the production of the series. He feels he needs to take on another identity, segueing into introducing the featured book, Bea and Mr. Jones. Madeline Kahn reads the book about a kindergarten student and her father who get so bored with their jobs that they decide to experiment by switching places for the day.
9 June 1983
10 June 1983
Technically not the first science-related show in its history, LeVar seeks a place where archaeologists retrieve dinosaur bones. At the end of the program, LeVar buries a time capsule, containing (among other things) a can of old Coke and his picture. Linda Gilman reads Digging Up Dinosaurs, a story about how paleontologists unearth dinosaurs skeletons and preserve them in museum exhibits.
In the featured book, a young boy and his family move from New York City to the Southwest and he has many misconceptions about what his new home is like.
17 June 1983
The first of many programs favoring Native Americans. In this instance, a Midwestern legend suggests how horses arrived to the tribe. Later in this episode is the song "Ancient Places, Sacred Lands" which lists several words originating from various locations of the United States and the tribal meaning of their names.
Today's subject is goats and what they eat.
LaVar explores seeing and our other senses, as Bill Cosby tells the story of how the young aardvark, Arthur Read acquired his pair of glasses.
LeVar is ready to find music everywhere, and he does. This show includes the animation Onomatopoeia. Lou Rawls reads the story of Ty's One-Man Band, about a man who teaches a boy how to make music using household items.
LeVar goes to South Carolina to ride a hot-air balloon. In another study of how air travel has advanced, schoolchildren visit the Space Camp for Aspiring Young Astronauts. William Windom reads the story of Hot-Air Henry, the misadventures of a cat who sneaks on board his family's hot air balloon and how he gets back down again.
4 September 1984
5 September 1984
6 September 1984
3 September 1984
1 July 1985
Lavar visits a lumberjack camp in the forest. Today's featured book is based on the legend of Paul Bunyan, the giant woodsman.
2 July 1985
3 July 1985
4 July 1985
LeVar has entered a bicycle race. He's in competition not just with the other bikers, but with himself as well. This program also includes a lengthy piece on a karate class. Comedienne Gilda Radner reads the Aesop's tale of "The Tortoise and the Hare," about an arrogant rabbit that's over confident that he can beat a determined turtle in a foot race.
LeVar visits a pig farm in Hawaii to find out why pigs are so popular. He also interviews Kermit the Frog to ask him about his famous girlfriend, Miss Piggy.James Coco reads the story of Perfect the Pig, about a little runt pig who makes a wish to have wings in order to be special, and how he found a special person to be his friend and companion.
23 June 1986
LeVar goes to a 24-hour diner to look into night jobs, and profiles people who have occupations in the evening and early morning hours, like radio DJ's, bakers, cab drivers, and police officers. In a separate story, a man ventures into a cave to see bats and other nocturnal animals. Martin Short narrates the story of "Animal Cafe," about a cat and dog who operate a third shift restaurant for all the animals in their neighborhood while keeping it a secret from their human owner.
24 June 1986
LeVar checks out the Library of Congress. Among the activities shown: how a book is delivered to the front desk, the vast film library, and how damaged books are repaired. Arnold Stang reads Alistair in Outer Space, a story about a young boy that is so dedicated to returning library books on time that he doesn't even let getting abducted by space aliens stop him.
Season 3, Episode 8: Feelings25 June 1986
LeVar seems to have a lot of things going wrong for him as he spends a day in the park, causing lots of different emotions. In an animated feature, a group of school children read poems about feelings and how to deal with situations. In another profile, LeVar introduces Koko the Gorilla, who learned to communicate through American Sign Language.
26 June 1986
Videotaped at Ellis Island in 1985, this show is truly American or, more correctly, a salute to all those who immigrated to America. Laura Haymann reads Watch the Stars Come Out, a true story about a young boy and girl who ride a boat from their native country to New York in order to join their parents and older sister, who emigrated to the United States earlier and sent for them.
27 June 1986
LeVar shows how music can help interpret a situation, from meeting alligators in a Louisiana swamp to joining a party on a Mississippi riverboat. Fred Newman narrates the story of Mama Don't Allow, about how a young musician starts his own swamp band with his friends. Viewers are then treated to a recording session with Fred Newman as he makes up all the sound effects for the book, including the band's music.
Season 4, Episode 1: Space Case1986
Is there life on other planets and stars? LaVar sends a message to aliens who might be watching and a radio telescope in Puerto Rico is profiled. Today's featured story is about a being from outer space who visits Earth.
LaVar visits the zoo, to learn about animals with horns and antlers. In the featured story, a young girl wakes up one morning to discover she's grown her own pair of antlers.
Season 4, Episode 5: Abiyoyo1986
LeVar visits a beehive to look into beekeeping and how honey is made. Barbara Feldon narrates The Life Cycle of the Honeybee, which goes into detail about how bees make hives in natural habitats such as trees.
The best of friends are those whose friendships endure everything. And it extends to all walks of life, particularly to dogs. Liza Siegler reads the story of two girls who are best friends, but their relationship is strained when one girl goes on a vacation with relatives and the other girl feels lonely and neglected, until a new neighbor moves in and asks her to help him look after his dog.
LeVar travels to an old west town made to look like life in the 1880's to see how times have changed in the last 100 years. He explores how cowboys lived and traveled, and he also shows how stunt riders practice tricks on their horses for western movies. Hoyt Axton reads the featured book, a story told in comparisons about a rancher who decides to spend the day in a town 84 miles from home, and the strange happenings at his ranch back home while his wife stayed home to plant potatoes.
15 August 1988
In both the featured story and on the set of the show "Star Trek: the Next Generation" (which LaVar also stars on) we learn how TV shows are made and how actors in costumes and special effects can make imaginary things seem real.
Season 5, Episode 2: Bugs16 August 1988
With microorganisms under his belt, LeVar now goes on the lookout for insects.
17 August 1988
Season 5, Episode 4: Brush18 August 1988
19 August 1988
27 March 1989
LeVar is in Tennessee where he is going to a barn dance. Along the way, he meets the band who will be playing their Bluegrass music and meets a man who makes his own fiddles. At the barn, LeVar also learns a few dance steps for the big night Roy Clark narrates Barn Dance!, a story about a hoedown that is unlike any other.
28 March 1989
29 March 1989
30 March 1989
31 March 1989
LeVar celebrates the culture of Africa in New York City's Central Park where he learns how African drums are made. Phylicia Rashid narrates Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, an African tale about a villager who has two beautiful daughters with completely different personalities. Mufaro presents his daughters to the king who is looking for a wife.
LaVar makes a pizza, while "The Wonder Years" star Josh Saviano reads a story about about a boy who's father runs a pizzeria.
LeVar is assigned a comedy makeover to learn more about comedy. Phillis Diller narrates "Ludlow Laughs," a tale about a man who never smiled at all until one strange night when he started to laugh out loud.
27 March 1990
Levar Burton works out in a gym and talks about the determination it takes to succeed in sports. Burton narrates two poems from "Sports Pages" by Arnold Adoff. Burton visits with a young Olympic gymnast who talks about the preparation she must go through before competition. Burton talks to a brother-sister figure skating team, the skaters show how hard they must work to achieve their goals.
10 September 1990
11 September 1990
12 September 1990
13 September 1990
LeVar visits a famed wax sculpture museum, where an expert wax artist makes a statue of him. Julia child reads the story of two children helping their grandmother plan a party, and how they accidentally mistake a fancy decorated hat for a cake decorated in the same way.
14 September 1990
16 September 1991
LeVar goes to a totally-fictitious spot to find inventors from all eras. True to form, these inventors come from the distant past, Reading Rainbow's near-present, and the future. Arnold Stang narrates Alistair's Time Machine, the story of a boy who invents a machine that takes him centuries back in time.
17 September 1991
18 September 1991
Today's episode focuses on Native American art. The featured story, a young Indian man finds his calling in life as a painter and he is assigned a special task that will make him and his work remembered forever.
Season 7, Episode 9: Galimoto19 September 1991
20 September 1991
23 September 1991
24 September 1991
25 September 1991
26 September 1991
27 September 1991
Season 8, Episode 6: Tar Beach5 October 1992
LeVar's presence looms over New York once again, this time literally. He's taken to the roof of one of the nondescript skyscrapers, very close to the bridge mentioned in the featured book, Tar Beach.
Season 8, Episode 7: The Wall6 October 1992
7 October 1992
8 October 1992
9 October 1992
12 October 1992
13 October 1992
This episode of READING RAINBOW, "Piggy in the Puddle," features a look at the art of claymation and the joys of mud. Claymation artists Becky and Cody introduce host LeVar Burton to the art of claymation and create a claymation interpretation of Charlotte Pomerantz's PIGGIE IN THE PUDDLE. This program also features kids creating their own clay figures and a trip to a mud racing show. Kids review THIS HOUSE IS MADE OF MUD, THE HIPPOPOTAMUS SONG, and OINK.
14 October 1992
15 October 1992
16 October 1992
11 October 1993
12 October 1993
13 October 1993
14 October 1993
15 October 1993
18 October 1993
19 October 1993
One thing leads to another in this episode, with LeVar in a bowling alley, showing how certain actions lead to consequences. Included is a piece on an expert at domino displays and domino art. Beth Howland reads "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," the tale of a little boy who offers a cookie to a mouse, and all the events that occur afterwards as a result.
20 October 1993
LeVar sets out to build a bird house, prompting an examination of animal habitats. Eartha Kitt reads the story of a growing hermit crab, who is now too large for his current shell, and all the difficulties he has trying to find a new place to live, all the while trying to avoid predators who want to eat him.
21 October 1993
22 October 1993
3 October 1994
Observing people is the theme of the day, as LeVar finds himself with time to kill before a business meeting and chooses to watch children at a playground while he waits.
4 October 1994
LeVar spends the day in a barrio in East Los Angeles studying Mexican culture as he visits friends who make their own guitars, eats some traditional food, and discusses the cultural differences that are practiced in both Mexico and the US. Olga Merediz reads Borreguita and the Coyote, the tale of a clever lamb who continually outsmarts a coyote determined to eat her.
Season 10, Episode 8: Summer5 October 1994
In this episode of Reading Rainbow, Levar shows the kids the different sights and sounds of Summer. The different wildlife of Summer, and how they live. Also, there are segments on the different seasons and how they effect different parts of the country. The featured book is "Summers" written by Ron Hirschi, and read by Ossie Davis.
6 October 1994
7 October 1994
10 October 1994
11 October 1994
LaVar explains the postal service and shows how important mail as a form of communication.
Season 11, Episode 3: Stellaluna12 October 1994
LaVar discusses bats and the importance of sleep. The featured story is of a bat who is separated from her family and adopted by a bird.
Season 11, Episode 4: My Shadow13 October 1994
In this episode of Reading Rainbow: Levar shows the kids how shadows and lights make up our everyday lives. Andrea Davis is featured as a photographer who shoots different parts of the city and develops the pictures in her own studio. Also, the children review the books SHADOWS AND REFLECTIONS I HAVE A FRIEND and SHADOW GRAPHS.
14 October 1994
2 October 1995
LaVar visits Watts, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. The featured story is about Simon Rhodia and The Watts Towers. Also featured are young Watts residents trying to make the neighborhood a better place.
3 October 1995
4 October 1995
5 October 1995
6 October 1995
8 April 1996
9 April 1996
10 April 1996
LeVar and a friend say following recipes and cooking foods are very much like science experiments. They work on recipes which include lasagna made with rice, a marinara sauce, and apple raisin muffins. Helen Mirren reads How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, a tale of a lady who goes to elaborate lengths to get all the ingredients to make a pie after she finds her local grocery store closed.
Season 11, Episode 14: Owen11 April 1996
It's easy to get flashbacks while watching Reading Rainbow. Now it's LeVar's turn, as he gets in touch with visions of "his boyhood." Matthew Broderick reads "Owen," about a little mouse who's very attached to his security blanket and doesn't want to give it up, even if it means he will be teased when he starts school.
7 October 1996
8 October 1996
9 October 1996
10 October 1996
Music and orchestras are profiled in this tuneful show. The episode soon gets rhythmic when LeVar introduces the viewers to the theatrical percussion group, Stomp. Gregory Hines reads Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin, a counting story that mentions all the different types of instruments that are played in bands and orchestras and the kinds of groups they make based on many play at once.
7 April 1997
How babies are born is explored, in great detail, in this episode, as a family welcoming their fourth child is profiled during the last few weeks before delivery. Patrick Stewart reads a poem about how special each person is when they come into the world, and how every birth should be celebrated.
Season 12, Episode 8: Hip Cat8 April 1997
10 April 1997
LeVar discusses how people show gratitude for kind acts and how we can repay each other in acts of kindness to spread good will in the world. Nicholson Earl Billey reads the featured story, a poem of greeting that Native Americans say each day to bless the earth and pray for all the gifts they have been given by respecting the planet.
11 April 1997
Season 13, Episode 1: Math Curse5 October 1998
6 October 1998
Scott Irby Ranier tells a tale of a boy who is followed home by a wave of water after a vacation at the beach, and how he and his family must convince the wave it is better off living in the ocean than in his bathtub.
7 October 1998
LeVar attends a rummage sale to observe how people sometimes barter for items when they don't have money to buy them. Josie de Guzman reads the feature story about a girl who follows her grandmother around the farmer's market to trade items to get the ingredients for their weekly chicken stew after they discover they are out of all the groceries they need and don't have cash to buy them.
8 October 1998
LeVar explores Broadway as he looks at live entertainment options. Lucie Arnaz reads the feature story, about a young girl who decides to put on a show for her aunt, who usually treats her to Broadway play matinees, but now Aunt Lena is laid up in bed following a fall, and she gets depressed because she's missing her stories.
Season 13, Episode 5: Work Song9 October 1998
23 October 2000
LeVar visits the Amazon rain forest to meet the real people profiled in today's featured book, a story about how a young man was chosen to follow around his tribe's medicine man to learn all the natural methods of treating injuries and illness using plants of the rain forest.
20 November 2000
"Pet Stories You Don't Have to Walk", read by Jason Alexander, features stories about pets. LeVar Burton throws a birthday party for his golden retriever, Roy, and treats the dog to a bath at a pet spa for his special day.
19 January 2001
LeVar explores way that young people can earn money before they're old enough for official jobs in this show. Andrea McArdle reads the feature story of a group of kids who decide to run a lemonade drink stand to raise money to make repairs to their clubhouse, and how a new neighbor helps them drum up business.
16 February 2001
In the first of two map shows, LeVar Burton wants to show how to use maps. But he is not Rick Steves. Tim Conway reads a story about two boys who decide to try a new route to school after getting there late all the time and being reprimanded by the teacher.
16 March 2001
20 April 2001
LeVar discusses cathartic ways to adjust to losing a loved one in this episode. He and fellow viewers talk about family members that are now gone that they miss, and how they try to remember the good times rather than dwell on the pain. Ruby Dee reads the featured story about an aging Badger, who knows he doesn't have much longer to live and tries to prepare his friends for his passing.
LeVar visits a school in New York City to ask the class how they have coped since the past year when the World Trade Center was destroyed nearby and they had to evacuate and some children lost family members. Jeff Bridges reads the story of The Tin Forest, about a lonely man who builds a metal forest of trees and animals in hopes of attracting real animals to ease his sadness
Season 14, Episode 8: Max2002
Season 14, Episode 9: Enemy Pie5 September 2002
LeVar observes activity in a playground to see how people do and don't get along with each other. Ed Harris reads Enemy Pie, a story about a boy who dislikes one of his new classmates, and how his father helps bring the two boys to start a friendship by making a secret recipe Enemy Pie.
15 December 2004
19 January 2005
19 January 2005
Wayne Brady narrates the story of an elderly man who decides to go back to school to learn to read, even though he is almost 100, and his relationship with his young neighbor as they wait for the bus every day.
Season 15, Episode 4: Beegu24 January 2005
29 April 2005
Jordan Puryear reads "Two Old Potatoes and Me," about a girl who works with her father to recycle two rotted potatoes by replanting them using the sprouts to grow a whole new crop of potatoes. LeVar, working with his daughter, is inspired to make potato dishes from recipes in the book.
7 January 2012
LeVar profiles Children For Children, a New York based youth organization that creates care packages for relief to children affected by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Elizabeth Jute reads a story about a US penpal who sends care packages to her friend in war-torn Holland after WWII.
Excitement-anticipation-butterflies-JITTERS! Everyone knows the jumble of feelings that go through a child's head as the first day of school approaches-especially if it's the first day at a new school. Will they like me? Will I make new friends? What if I don't like it? These are questions Sarah Jane Hartwell asks herself as she tries to build up courage to embrace her new school. Children and adults alike will sympathize with Sarah's feelings and laugh out loud at the surprise ending.
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