Reading Rainbow

PBS (ended 2006)
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261 votes
  • Episode Guide
  • S 21 : Ep 5

    Show Way

    Aired 11/10/06

  • S 21 : Ep 4

    Game Day

    Aired 11/9/06

  • S 21 : Ep 3

    Boxes for Katje

    Aired 11/8/06

  • S 21 : Ep 2

    I Lost My Tooth in Africa

    Aired 11/7/06

  • S 21 : Ep 1

    The Biggest Test in the Universe

    Aired 11/6/06

  • Cast & Crew
  • LeVar Burton


  • Tina Fabrik

    Theme Singer (telecasts of 1983-1998 only)

  • Kevin Clash


  • Edward Asner

    (voice) Himself

  • William Windom


  • Photos (1)
  • show Description
  • Reading Rainbow is a children's series designed to promote reading comprehension in elementary school age children. Host LeVar Burton introduces the theme of the episode and the book to be profiled in an animated story using the illustrations from the book and narrated by a celebrity such as Bill Cosby, Ruby Dee, Richard Gere, and the late great stars Ossie Davis, Julia Child, Raul Julia and Gilda Radner for example. After the story is finished, feature stories in the same subject as the book are profiled and youth reviewers give critiques of three additional books. LeVar usually introduces the children critics by saying, "But you don't have to take my word for it."moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • markdoublea84

    User Score: 1830


  • kathiheck

    User Score: 702


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (88)

    • LeVar: You can have good times in spite of the tight times. All you need is a little imagination.

    • LeVar: When the dinosaurs ruled the earth, how could they have known that millions of years in the future we'd be dreaming about them? I'm sure they never dreamed of us.

    • LeVar: I don't know what your vacation plans are, but no matter where you go or what you do, a good book always adds to the fun.

    • LeVar: People come in all kinds of sizes, shapes and colors. And when you see through the skin on someone's face to the person underneath, then you're color blind in the best possible way.

    • LeVar: The only way to really know how big and important you are is to look inside yourself. The things around you aren't nearly as important as how you see yourself.

    • LeVar: You know, animals are important to all of us whether they're the barn yard variety, the exotic type or just plain good company.

    • LeVar: Whether you play a homemade kazoo or a fancy grand piano, whether you're an electronic wizard or an old-fashioned one-man band, whether you play jazz, rock, salsa or your mother's pots and pans, I'm sure there's lots of beautiful music down deep inside you. And it doesn't matter how you play the music, whether you use your fingers, your feet, your voice or by turning on the radio. The only way to make real music is with your heart.

    • LeVAR: (Rapping) If you like Ty and his one-man band, Try some other books that are in demand. Bet they'll turn you on--Suit you to a "T"-- But you don't have to take it from me.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (225)

    • Featured Books: Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen The Terrible Thing That Happened in Our House by Marge Blane When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant Pet Show! by Ezra Jack Keats

    • This is the series premiere for Reading Rainbow.

    • Featured Books: Digging Up Dinosaurs: And Putting Them Together by Aliki Dinosaurs N/A If You Were a Hunter of Fossils N/A Dinosaur Time by Peggy Parish Tyrannasaurus Rex: A Book of Dinosaur Riddles by Noelle Stern

    • This episode is found on the Buried Treasures DVD along with "Mummies Made in Egypt".

    • Segments of this episode were released as bonuses on the Desert Life DVD.

    • Featured Books: Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe by Vera B. Williams Worlds to Explore: A Handbook for Brownie and Junior Girlscouts by the Girlscouts of the United States of America Today We Are Brother and Sister by Arnold Adoff Anno's Journey by Mitsumasa Anno

    • This is the first time Michael Ansara narrates a Native American themed story for the series. He returns in 1993 to read "And Still the Turtle Watched."

    • Featured Books: Arthur's Eyes by Marc Brown The Turn About, Think About, Look About Book by Beau Gardner Roly Goes Exploring by Philip Newth A Show of Hands by Linda Bourke Through Grandpa's Eyes by Patricia MacLachlan Is This a Baby Dinosaur? and Other Science Picture Puzzles by Millicent Ellis Selsem

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (22)

    • This episode was filmed entirely in Montana.

    • This is the only episode to introduce the most books (6).

    • Apparently no one credited anybody for the "livestock bus" animation used in this program.

    • This episode and the four to follow were all released in 1984, but all five episodes bear the "copyright" of a nonexistent Roman numeral 'MCMCXXXIV.' It should have read MCMLXXXIV.

    • LeVar's name is now capitalized as "LEVAR BURTON"

    • This was the first of three consecutive episodes whose copyright accidentally gave the Roman numeral for 1935.

    • People who can't digest milk, let alone drink it, are considered lactose intolerant.

    • This was the first episode where LeVar does not say "You don't have to take my word for it."

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (8)

    • Calvin Swine is a pun of the fashion designer, Calvin Cline.

    • Book Puns: Frankenswine is a pun of the horror novel, Frankenstein by Marry Shelley. Boar and Peace is a pun of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Pignocchio is a pun of the classic story, Pinocchio.

    • In the animation, the Milktrotters is a pun of the famous basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters.

      As stated in the synopsis, the animation of white blood cells ready to fight germs was a reference to the legendary NBC drama Hill Street Blues, which was to go off the air less than a year after this program's debut.

    • Book Puns: The Great Hatsby is a pun of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Pat the Beanie is a pun of Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt.

    • LeVar: One to beam down...Energize.
      The original Star Trek had coined the terms "Beam me up, Scotty" and "Energize" whenever someone was transported. TNG, naturally, kept the tradition of "Energize" during its run of 1987-1994.

    • The mock band featured in the show, The Grateful Head, is supposed to be a passing reference to the actual musical group, The Grateful Dead.

    • Ed McMahon LeVar's creation, Egg McMahon, is a pun of TV celebrity Ed McMahon.

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (26)
  • Made Books interesting

    By anastasia1243, Feb 08, 2014

  • Watched since I was a baby

    By gracielove, Nov 11, 2012

  • No more Reading Rainbow on TV !!

    By christv20, Aug 14, 2012

  • I love this show because I love LeVar Burton for hosting Reading Rainbow so much.

    By DeonFlood2, Aug 26, 2011

  • The educational show that tells us that reading can be fun.

    By Woahwoah312, Jul 21, 2011

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