Reading Rainbow

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PBS (ended 2006)

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Episode Guide

  • Season 1
    • Tight Times
      Episode 1
      6/6/83
      8.0
      What can you do with very little money? That's what the featured book and LeVar must face. To set the tone for the entire series, LeVar shows a friend a wealth of fun at the local library. Patrick McCaffrey readsTight Times, a story about how a little boy talks his parents into letting him adopt a stray cat even though they have to make budget cuts after the father is laid off from his job.moreless
    • 6/7/83
      8.7
      Illusions appear in abundance on this program. 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."moreless
    • 6/8/83
      8.1
      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.moreless
    • How do you envision the rain, or any kind of weather? Some of the things to ask about in this show of weather legends. When LeVar's plans of attending a picnic and softball game are derailed by a downpour, he decides to stay home to read a few books instead.

      James Earl Jones reads Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, an African story written in the style of "The House That Jack Built," about how one action leads to another to help bring water to a drought torn region.moreless
    • Louis the Fish
      Episode 5
      6/10/83
      9.5
      Starting at the New England Aquarium, LeVar gets into a lengthy observation of aquatic life. Vincent Gardenia reads the story of Louis the Fish, a fanciful tale of a man, forced to take over his family's butcher business but secretly longing to take care of fish instead, wakes up one morning to find he magically turned into a giant salmon.moreless
    • 6/13/83
      7.5
      What is with this unfunny dinosaur, thinking he can do stand-up comedy on a dinosaur (of a) program? 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.moreless
    • 6/14/83
      9.4
      LeVar goes to Chinatown for a look at Chinese culture. In something completely different, a New York technology institute draws a traditional Chinese dragon boat.
    • LeVar is out to disspell misconceptions of unknown things. When the boy in the featured book is convinced he'll find gila monsters when he arrives at an airport out in the West, this raises the question: What is a gila monster? A nature visit to the West shows us a gila monster up close. Later in the program, LeVar discusses with children the new experiences they have had to face.moreless
    • LeVar takes a camping trip with some young friends. They make a photo album of their trip and some other kids share their photo albums they made to show what they did over the summer. Carolyn McMahon narrates Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe, a story about a girl and her cousin who go on a camping trip with their mothers and ride in a canoe on the river.moreless
    • 6/17/83
      9.9
      The first of many programs favoring Native Americans. In this instance, a folk tale suggests how the horse came to them. Later in the program is the song Ancient Places, Sacred Lands, listing several words originating from various parts of the Land and what they mean.
    • 6/20/83
      9.6
      Goats are the topic of the day, as LeVar visits a children's petting zoo with goats to introduce Gregory, the Terrible Eater. Marilyn Michaels reads the story of a little goat who starts out as a picky eater but then overeats when his parents try to get him to eat new foods. Then, as LeVar goes to lunch, he finds himself in a strange diner occupied by goats and serving unusual dishes. Finally, a professional chef teaches a group of kid chefs to cook paella together.moreless
    • Three by the Sea
      Episode 12
      6/21/83
      10
      LeVar spends a day at the beach, where he notices that everyone is reading the book of the day, Three by the Sea. Improvisation Comedy Troupe members of Chicago City Limits read the story of three children who challenge each other to come up with different stories using the same topic material. Later on, the improvising actors work with a group of children to teach them improv acting.moreless
    • Arthur's Eyes
      Arthur's Eyes
      Episode 13
      6/22/83
      10
      How do you see things? Different people see things in different ways. And the best way to see things is through caring and understanding. That's what LeVar discusses in this episode as he sees many things in his own way. Comedian Bill Cosby reads the story of Arthur's Eyes, about a young aardvark who becomes self conscious after he learns he must wear eye glasses to see properly, and is afraid his classmates will tease him.moreless
    • 6/23/83
      8.8
      LeVar visits a pet store to discuss the featured book, and imagines that one of the pets from the store followed him home. It's a field day for the farm animals, and not a place for the faint of heart (or so the featured book would have it). The show also attends a state fair to investigate livestock competitions.

      Kaleena Kiff and Laura Hicks read the featured story of a little girl telling her mother about a school fieldtrip to a farm, and the chaos that ensued when her classmate brought along his pet snake to introduce it to the farm animals.moreless
    • Ty's One-Man Band
      Episode 15
      6/24/83
      10
      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.
    • 10/23/00
      0.0
      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.In this unedited, original episode of Reading Rainbow, join LeVar Burton on an educational and entertaining adventure through classic books, video field trips and the always favorite "kid book reviews."moreless
  • Season 2
  • Season 3
  • Season 4
  • Season 5
  • Season 6
  • Season 7
  • Season 8
  • Season 9
  • Season 10
  • Season 11
  • Season 12
  • Season 13
  • Season 14
  • Season 15
  • Season 16
  • Season 17
  • Season 18
  • Season 19
  • Season 20
  • Season 21
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