Reading Rainbow (TV Series 1983– ) Poster

(1983– )

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My favorite show
Kimberley (kimmb)14 June 2002
I grew up watching this show, it first appeared when I was 4 years old. I watched it as I learned to read and as I progressed through school. I still watch it on the occasions I find it on PBS, and I'm now a 22 year old grad student in Literature. I think this show really helps instill the value of reading in young kids--values that will follow them throughout life. I can't think of a better show for kids. And unlike most children's programs, it doesn't lose its charm no matter how old you get. A great great show, one of my personal favorites and a big reason I'm studying English and Literature today.
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Fantastic Way to Encourage Kids to Read.
Pepper Anne13 May 2004
While it has been years since I used to religiously watch 'Reading Rainbow,' I do remember how much I loved it.

Each episode had a particular theme such as teaching kids about different occuptaions or perhaps places. The show's charismatic host, LaVar Burton might travel to a factory to show kids how cheese is made, or play co-pilot in an airplane. So, each episode, provided something different about the world and the people in it to kids, giving them a very diversified and educational show. Additionally, the show would end with suggested reading for people interested in the show's themes. And these books were usually presented with a brief review from kids. I remember our library even had a section of books that had appeared on Reading Rainbow.

LaVar Burton's educational journeys were not the only part of the show. They also read a book during each episode, which was read either by Mr. Burton or by some celebrity reader (I remember James Earl Jones read one of my favorite books about a young African boy who was a rainmaker, though the name escapes me), and they displayed the pictures on the screen. I think they displayed it with the words so you could read along, but I don't remember. I know it wasn't like watching a storyteller sit and read the book to a bunch of kids and showing them the book. You actually got to see the book yourself while the voice was dubbed along. It was a good show that encouraged reading and interest in a whole lot of things. Then again, PBS had a lot of shows like that at the time--Math Net (a take on Dragnet in which the detectives used math to solve each mystery); Square One (a variety educational program); 3-2-1 Contact (which I don't remember much, except for the name); and so forth.

If they don't run the reruns or if Reading Rainbow has retired long ago, I wish that they would try to get kids interested in that again. It did more than just trying to encourage kids to read, it tried to teach them about a lot of different things. I still remember the show that took you inside of a macaroni manufacturing plant and a crayon manufacturing plant. It was cool.
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"Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high..."
tubasunshine26 January 2004
I used to love this show! I watched it religiously for years, and wish I had time to watch it now. This show really turned me on to reading as a kid, and we need more shows like this to get kids who have 100+ channels, computers and multiple video games back to the basics of reading. While the theme song was trite, it was catchy & easy to remember. And even though some aspects of the program on the overdone side, this show has wonderful "bones", & contributed overwhelmingly to my childhood, and the childhoods of many others as well.
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Fascinating, informative, entertaining...
Bass-o-matic3 October 2003
This show, at least in it's current state, is better than 99% of the crap one will find on network tv. I've seen up close pottery making by Indians in the mid-west, examined the inner workings of the largest galactic telescope in the world in Puerto Rico, and otherwise been very entertained and informed from the times I've caught this show just before Charlie Rose came on.

Levar does a nice job of imparting important virtues to kids - RESPECT for creativity and craft, your elders, the environment... what more could you ask for, in an age when parents take NO responsibility for raising kids and kids have no respect even for human life??

As far as the books reviewed, I can't vouch for this, but I've always left with a good, warm feeling about people every time I watch this show, (and I usually feel like heaving when I see the other crap on tv).

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Best Show Ever
amh67830 October 2004
As a child of the 80s "Reading Rainbow" was a big part of television for me.

I remember watching it in school sometimes and I LOVED it. Lavar Burton is an awesome host. Hosting the same show for so many years shows his dedication to literacy among children. Each show taught you about a few different books. I even remember the theme song and does my 16-year-old brother. I haven't seen it in years though. For some odd reason PBS doesn't are it in the Atlanta area. I highly recommend this show for parents now. "Reading Rainbow" is a rare show that is educational and entertaining. If it were still aired here, this is one 22-year-old that would still watch it!
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I loved this show
strid33325 August 2003
This was such a great show. I especially loved the story book time. I also really liked the showing how things are done.

I think my favorite of all the episodes would be visiting LeVar's other workplace - the set of Star Trek TNG in its first season. It was one of the first times that they actually showed how they did all the special effects (I only wish that they waited a couple more seasons to make this episode because they might've had some Borg makeup). Now, with DVDs, this episode is pointless, but I still don't care.

On a personal note, one of my friends briefly appeared in an episode. He was 6 (like me) at the time. It was the episode of the Library of Congress and he and his mom are seen running up the stairs. He told me that if he knew better, he would've gone over to LeVar because he would've met Geordi LaForge (but this was a year before TNG even started and there are still ST conventions). Yeah, we are both geeks at heart.
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Great show that all kids should watch.
Nethen-219 April 1999
I started watching Reading Rainbow when I first started to speak English. I've always thought it was a fun and creative show. It made reading better, and more enjoyable. It helped kids like me, to read better, understand books and love books. Also, with Burton as a great host, he helped it even more. Every episode was great to watch, and I liked it when they should us other cultures and how things work in the real world.

If your child needs a show to watch, take it from me, a 17 year old boy: Get them away from those violent TV shows where they won't learn a thing, get them to watch Reading Rainbow. They'll thank you in the latter years...I have.
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I am glad this is still on the air!
Kristinartist794 August 2004
I loved this show as a child. I am a teacher's Aide now for kindergarten students and they watch this show during library! They love it! I am so glad that this show still exists! When I was a child in the early 80s,the media had became a big part of children's lives, and its even more so now. Computers, video games, and fast paste shows, are great but they tend to take children's attention span away, which makes school less enjoyable even for the brightest children. Fortunately, in this show, the media puts children's books to life motivating children to read, which is perfect for children in this technical society! As an education major, I am really glad to have this opportunity to support this show!
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Take a look, it's in a book!
mrskcj29 January 2002
I remember watching "Reading Rainbow" with my youngest sister thirteen years ago. Being an avid fan of children's literature, I love to discover the new titles and receive literary recommendations for my preschool son who now loves it as much as I.

The authors who create such magnificent literature for the youngsters today are to be commended! The illustrators bring such light and color to each story that the story becomes real before your eyes! The celebrity readers bring the authors' stories to life and open up new vistas for children.

Levar Burton seems to really enjoy visiting new places and trying new things; he's the original and continuing host. Find it on a local PBS station near you and watch the magic!
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A Great Flashback
dng200027 August 2003
Although I never saw this on PBS, I remembered enjoying this show throughout my first grade. As a kid, I used to love watching this show once in a while on Fridays since it was an adorable alternative to the boring voice of my teacher reading the same books that were portrayed in Reading Rainbow.
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