For 26 years, the beloved television show Reading Rainbow aired on PBS, each episode offering new adventures and series book recommendations. The show was critically acclaimed (26 Emmys!) and host LeVar Burton—not to mention an addictive theme song—became an integral part of its success.
Now, Burton (with his multimedia company RRKidz) has relaunched the Reading Rainbow brand for a whole new generation of young readers—readers used to consuming media on computers, tablets, and mobile devices. The Reading Rainbow app is now available in the iTunes store, and with it comes a world of learning and books.
In a recent interview, Burton explained that after Reading Rainbow was cancelled in 2009, he wanted to continue to inspire kids in their love of reading. “Reading Rainbow the television show was really about using the prevailing technology of the day to reach kids and turn them on to books and literature and the adventures of reading,” he said. “If you want to reach kids today, you need to be on a mobile device.”
Upon launching the app, kids are invited to explore areas within, including destinations for reading with hundreds of books. But just like the television series, kids have the opportunity to learn more about what they read by watching “video field trips” hosted by Burton himself! The app is rated for ages four and up, and while it’s free to download, users have to pay for items within the app, such as ebooks. (You can pay $9.99 for one month or $29.99 for six months.) Burton said that currently, kids are reading 72,000 books a week using the app. Check out the app trailer below!