Reading Rainbow

PBS (ended 2006)




Episode Guide

    • Three by the Sea
      Three by the Sea
      Season 1 - Episode 12
      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
    • Mama Don't Allow
      Season 4 - Episode 5
      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.moreless
    • Arthur's Eyes
      Arthur's Eyes
      Season 1 - Episode 13
      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
    • The Life Cycle of the Honeybee
      The Life Cycle of the Honeybee
      Season 5 - Episode 1
      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.
    • Ty's One-Man Band
      Ty's One-Man Band
      Season 1 - Episode 15
      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.
    • Simon's Book
      Simon's Book
      Season 2 - Episode 2
      There's nothing more LeVar enjoys than doodling. In the featured book, a doodle goes on the loose and it's up to Simon to tame it. The reality is, books take many people and special machinery to make. Such is explained in the song "In the Bindary." Ruby Dee reads the book LeVar is studying, Simon's Book, about how the characters in an unfinished child's drawing come to life and finish the details the artist left out before going to bed.moreless
    • The Milk Makers
      The Milk Makers
      Season 4 - Episode 7
      LeVar spends a day at the dairy seeing how cows are milked and understanding what care cows need. Alaina Reed Hall reads the story of The Milk Makers, detailing how milk is collected from cows, processed in dairies and sent to grocery stores.
    • Perfect the Pig
      Perfect the Pig
      Season 3 - Episode 5

      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.

    • Fox on the Job
      Season 9 - Episode 5
      There's a wide job market out there, but just what kind of job does a person want? In this program are both conventional and unconventional occupations to straddle the flow of the feature book.
    • Once There Was a Tree
      Season 12 - Episode 4
      There is still use to a tree stump, as the feature book entails. Eli Wallach reads the story about the lifetime of a tree, and how different animals and people made use of the tree during its many stages, from sapling to tall tree to a cut down stump.
    • My Shadow
      Season 12 - Episode 9
      Shadow art is looked at, as LeVar interviews an artist who creates brilliant shadow puppetry with his hands. Robert Guillaume reads the poem My Shadow, by Robert Louis Stephenson, about how shadows are cast by light and are reflections of our image.
    • 9/25/91
      Turning even crazier, the show plays with our heads in more ways than one. LeVar is the "Head reporter" of a mock-news program called "HEADline News Report" and "reports" on a truly head-spinning array of all things ridiculous about the head. Included is a "Head-to-Head" interview with The Grateful Head, a fictitious musical group of singing necks, just heads. They sing a song called, "I Ain't Got No Body." Marilyn Pasekoff reads the featured story of a vain French woman, trying to win a fancy hat contest, unwittingly has a miniature sailing ship land on her head, and wins the contest when the judges mistake the boat for her head ornament.moreless
    • Mr. George Baker
      Season 20 - Episode 3
      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.
    • Mrs. Katz and Tush
      Season 11 - Episode 3
      LeVar pays a visit to a family friend, who is Jewish, to learn how to prepare special foods served during a Seder dinner, like Challah bread and potato latkes. Reizyl Bozyk and Rick English read the featured story of an elderly Jewish lady and how she befriends her neighbor's young son after she is widowed and he gives her a pet cat to keep her company.moreless
    • The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
      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.
    • Summer
      Season 12 - Episode 3
      Not just summer, but all the seasons are highlighted in the feature book. Ossie Davis narrates a photographic pictoral book about animals that are more active during the summer months, and great photos of weather conditions during the warm months, like sunsets, night skies filled with fireworks, and fun activities like swimming and boating.moreless
    • Hail to Mail
      Season 12 - Episode 7
      Al Roker reads the story about how mail is delivered all around the world by following a letter that keeps getting forwarded every time it misses reaching the addressee, who is moving around on a long term trip.
    • The Secret Shortcut
      The Secret Shortcut
      Season 18 - Episode 4
      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.moreless
    • 3/16/01
      LeVar goes around the United States asking children about different words for the same items, different climates, and different customs that make the United States such an interesting place to live. Author Nikki Giovanni reads one of her poems about life in the South from the book, My America: A Poetry Atals of the United States. Also from today's featured book, Lea Salonga and car experts Tom & Ray Magliozzi read poems from the book about Hawaii and the Northwest.moreless
    • 4/10/96
      LeVar and a friend point up that following recipes and cooking foods tend very much to be science experiments. They work on recipes which include lasagna made with rice, a marinara sauce, and apple raisin muffins.

      Helen Mirren readsHow 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.moreless
    • The Lotus Seed
      Season 12 - Episode 6
      Young people who emigrated to the United States from Asian countries are interviewed and discuss having to learn a new language and fitting in with other children their age while dealing with language and cultural barriers. Rona Figueroa reads the story of The Lotus Seed, about a woman who flees her native country during wartimes and manages to save only one memento, a lotus seed given to her by her mother from the garden she tended for the emperor.moreless
    • Best Friends
      Best Friends
      Season 5 - Episode 8
      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.moreless
    • Alejandro's Gift
      Season 13 - Episode 3
      LeVar visits Indian Canyons to learn how Native American Indians lived near a desert oasis, and why water is such a precious thing for our planet. Francisco Rivela reads Alejandro's Gift, a story about a man who lives in the desert and decides to build an oasis for the animals that come to his garden to drink, but run away when he tries to be friendly.moreless
    • The Biggest Test in the Universe
      The Biggest Test in the Universe
      Season 21 - Episode 1
      In addition to discussing accomplishing difficult tasks, LeVar profiles the New York children's theater group Tada, as they prepare auditions for their newest show. Richard Gear reads The Biggest Test in the Universe, a story about a grade school class having anxiety over an annual aptitude test.
    • Beegu
      Season 20 - Episode 4
      As LeVar investigates types of communication, Freddie Prinze Jr. reads Beegu, the story of an alien who visits Earth while lost from its parents and befriends a group of young children who help Beegu contact her family.
    • The Furry News
      Season 11 - Episode 2
      The feature book has animals putting together all the parts that make up a newspaper. Some, but not all parts, are further discussed in the live-action sequences. As LeVar discusses his favorite parts of a newspaper and interviews other people for different viewpoints, other functions of a newspaper staff are explored. Cartoonist Ray Billingsley, who draws Curtis, shows how he illustrates a comic, and a high school newspaper staff is profiled making a weekly publication.moreless
    • The Gift of the Sacred Dog
      The Gift of the Sacred Dog
      Season 1 - Episode 10
      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.
    • Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport
      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
    • Two Old Potatoes and Me
      Season 20 - Episode 5
      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.moreless
    • Opt: An Illusionary Tale
      Season 9 - Episode 6
      Exactly what its title says it is, Reading Rainbow this time all is not what it seems as LeVar demonstrates optical illusions from the book by Arline and Joseph Baum. He also shows how special effects are created for television; meets artist Christian Thee, who paints trompe l'oeil, or "trick-the-eye," paintings; and shows clips of kids creating their own optical illusions as well as optical illusions in nature--camouflage tricks that animals use to deceive predators.moreless
    • Gregory, the Terrible Eater
      Gregory, the Terrible Eater
      Season 1 - Episode 11
      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
    • The Robbery at the Diamond Dog Diner
      LeVar tries to have lunch at a diner, but soon finds himself thrust into work. For some reason, he just doesn't understand luncheonette lingo.
    • Space Case
      Space Case
      Season 4 - Episode 6
      LeVar opens the show at a planetarium with an introduction to Earth for any creature in outer space who might be watching. Michael Winslow tells the story of Space Case, about a small space alien who visits Earth during Halloween and is mistaken by the children as just another kid in a costume.moreless
    • Louis the Fish
      Louis the Fish
      Season 1 - Episode 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
    • Duncan and Dolores
      Duncan and Dolores
      Season 6 - Episode 7
      There's more to the cat that meets the eye. It culminates with one of the stars of what was then believed to be Broadway's permanence: CATS.

      Jane Curtain narrates the featured book about a girl who wants a cat. In the story, Duncan and Dolores learn how to be themselves and earn each other's friendship.moreless
    • The Piggy in the Puddle
      Season 10 - Episode 7
      A program devoted to mud sees LeVar get his hands into the claymation of the featured book, The Piggy in the Middle.
    • Archibald Frisby
      Season 13 - Episode 5
      LeVar gets in his share of scientific method while at an amusement park. He answers questions by observing and using trial and error. Along the way, we learn how different kinds of scientists find answers to their own questions.

       Arnold Stang reads the featured tale about a young boy, obsessed with science and mathematics, whose mother sends him to summer camp to help him improve his social skills, but his scientific knowledge helps him learn even more, and makes him into a camp hero when he figures out how to win the softball game by calculating trajectories.moreless
    • The Sign Painter's Dream
      Season 13 - Episode 4
      LeVar is back in New York (as he always seems to be), this time on Broadway. It's a sign mecca, and part of this program shows the making of a huge advertisement. Jamie Farr tells the story about a cranky sign painter who has a revelation about his job when he's asked to commission a sign for free as a good gesture.moreless
    • Liang and the Magic Paintbrush
      Liang and the Magic Paintbrush
      Season 1 - Episode 7
      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.
    • Dive to the Coral Reefs
      Dive to the Coral Reefs
      Season 7 - Episode 6
      Within the sea, lies a combination of scuba diving and (just slightly) snorkeling as LeVar and a friend of his dive beneath the ocean to explore a living coral reef and the life around it. Fran Brill narrates Dive to the Coral Reefs, a book that shows the life and structures of the beauty that lies beneath the sea.moreless
    • My Little Island
      My Little Island
      Season 5 - Episode 10

      LeVar spends a day on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. With the featured book as his guide, LeVar drives around the coastline, visits an open market, and gets a glimpse of a mountain frog.

      Ron Foster narrates the featured book, My Little Island, about a young boy who visits his cousins on the island and how it is much different than his life in the United States.

    • A Three Hat Day
      A Three Hat Day
      Season 5 - Episode 6
      A totally unreal hat store called "Hats... to Where?" sells hats that transport customers to all parts of the world. LeVar whisks himself to the horse racetrack at Turf Paradise, to a model train display in Three Bridges, New Jersey, and to the Nassau Coliseum, where he gets a goal tending lesson from Kelly Hurdey of the New York Islanders. Zelda Rubenstein reads A Three Hat Day, a story about a man who loves hats very much, and how he meets his soul mate when he goes shopping in a new hat store.moreless
    • Game Day
      Game Day
      Season 21 - Episode 4
      James Avery reads a story written by identical twin brothers Tiki and Ronde Barber, who became professional football players, and how they learned the importance of teamwork when they played together in junior high.
    • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
      Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
      Season 6 - Episode 10
      LeVar celebrates the culture of Africa in New York City's Central Park where he learns how African drums are made. He also plays some authentic African instruments and joins in the festival fun with an African dance troupe, Forces of Nature. Phylicia Rashid narrates Mufaro's Beautiful Dauters, 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.moreless
    • The Tortoise and the Hare
      The Tortoise and the Hare
      Season 3 - Episode 4
      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.moreless
    • Chickens Aren't the Only Ones
      Chickens Aren't the Only Ones
      Season 5 - Episode 3
      LeVar wants to find the answer to the old question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Posing as field reporter for E.G.G.-TV , he uncovers other discoveries instead, such as loggerhead sea turtles emerging onto the sand to lay eggs. Georgia Engel narrates Chickens Aren't the Only Ones, a book told in rhyme showing all kinds of animals who lay eggs like chickens.moreless
    • Stay Away from the Junkyard!
      Stay Away from the Junkyard!
      Season 7 - Episode 2
      LeVar decides it's time to clean out the things cluttering up his house. What he finds is only memories of his entire life. None of this is junk, as it turns out. Michelle Mariano reads the story of a young girl visiting relatives who befriends the local junkyard manager, even though the rest of the town avoids him and spreads rumors.moreless
    • Hot-Air Henry
      Hot-Air Henry
      Season 2 - Episode 1
      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.moreless
    • Follow the Drinking Gourd
      Season 11 - Episode 6
      LeVar reflects on a time when Africans were brought to America as slaves. He talks about how African-Americans risked their lives for freedom, and discusses how the music from slavery times effected the African culture. Keith David reads the featured story, which explains that the African-American folk song, "Follow the Drinking Gourd," was in fact a coded message to slaves giving them instructions on how to take the Underground Railroad north to states that abolished slavery.moreless
    • Ludlow Laughs
      Season 7 - Episode 4
      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.
    • Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe
      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
    • Is This a House for Hermit Crab?
      Is This a House for Hermit Crab?
      Season 11 - Episode 8
      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.moreless
    • Seashore Surprises
      Season 10 - Episode 8
      LeVar journeys to the shores of Sanibel Island, off the Gulf Coast of Florida, to witness the tides, feel the sand, and examine some plant life.
    • I Lost My Tooth in Africa
      I Lost My Tooth in Africa
      Season 21 - Episode 2
      LeVar discusses different rites of passage in growing up. The book "I Lost My Tooth in Africa" is read about a young girl who loses her first tooth while visiting her father's family in Africa, and how the tooth fairy tradition is different in other countries. We visit with some young people who are having their first dental appointment, and LeVar discusses other culture's customs regarding loose teeth. In another rite of passage, a friend of LeVar's celebrates her 15th birthday with a Quincenara ceremony.moreless
    • The Bionic Bunny Show
      The Bionic Bunny Show
      Season 6 - Episode 1
      LeVar launches into the television production process during the filming of Star Trek: The Next Generation, on which he played a major role.
    • The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
      The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
      Season 1 - Episode 14
      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
    • Rechenka's Eggs
      Season 10 - Episode 4
      LeVar takes up decorating eggs and shows us that they're one of nature's extraordinary wonders. The author of the featured book shows us how she got the idea for the story. We also see how animals in nature hatch their eggs.
    • How Much Is a Million?
      How Much Is a Million?
      Season 14 - Episode 5
      Using New York once again, LeVar takes a stab at a vast array of numbers: How much food is delivered in a stadium? How many tickets are counted? How many people are expected to come and watch a football game? LeVar even takes the viewers on a tour of a factory where millions of crayons are made every year.

      Nick Sullivan, along with a curious of children, read How Much Is a Million?. In the book, they explore how to measure large sums like million, billion, and trillion, and how they would be explained in different terms, like how long would it take you to count up that high, how big a gold fish bowl should be to hold that many fish, and so on.moreless
    • Miss Nelson Is Back
      Season 1 - Episode 2
      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
    • Little Nino's Pizzeria
      Season 7 - Episode 3
      LeVar takes a shot at making his own pizza. He gets the yeast right, but he underestimates just about everything else. (That includes the volume of "vox pops" shots.) Josh Saviano reads Little Nino's Pizzeria, a story about a boy who works with his father at a neighborhood pizzeria when one day his father closes it up to work at a more fancy restaurant.moreless
    • Sam the Sea Cow
      Season 10 - Episode 3
      LeVar goes to Florida to help take care of manatee with a crew of marine biology experts. He gets to feed a baby manatee, and assists in returning a rehabilitated manatee back to the ocean. Jason Robards reads the feature story of a true tale about a young manatee named Sam whose curiosity caused him to get stuck in drain pipe, and how he was rescued and returned to the sea.moreless
    • Abiyoyo
      Season 4 - Episode 10

      In one of the rare times Reading Rainbow uses a studio set, LeVar tells about storytelling through music. The then-new art of music videos is first up, with clips of "Who's Johnny" (among others). Pete Seeger appears on the set to perform his version of Abiyoyo. Pete explains that he adapted an old African folk tale, about a boy who helps get rid of a giant terrorizing his town, when Seeger's children pestered him to come up with a unique bedtime story that included music. Also unique to this episode: all the book reviewers share the stage with LeVar.

    • The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth
      LeVar goes on a spelunking adventure inside a cave. In those caverns, we see all the different cave formations and learn about what lies beneath the earth's surface. Keshia Knight Pulliam narrates The Magic Schoolbus: Inside the Earth, in which a class goes on an unusual fieldtrip underground where they learn what is hidden under the Earth.moreless
    • Sunken Treasure
      Sunken Treasure
      Season 8 - Episode 5
      LeVar has a suspicious-looking treasure map, which he uses to help track down something of immense value to–who knows? Robert Morse reads Sunken Treasure, about the search for the sunken Spanish merchant ship The Atochia, and how it was recovered centuries after it sunk. In another featured story, news footage of the raising of the Titanic is shown.moreless
    • 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.moreless
    • Someplace Else
      Season 15 - Episode 4
      LeVar is in his travel room where he has a collection of maps. He shares the wonders of traveling across the United States and seeing all the different sites, as well as exploring the excitement of using maps. Carol Kane reads a tale about a lady who decides to visit her children all over the country, but never stays long because of a need to be "someplace else."moreless
    • Florence and Eric Take the Cake
      Florence and Eric Take the Cake
      Season 8 - Episode 4

      LeVar visits the Movieland Wax Museum in California, 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.

    • The Runaway Duck
      The Runaway Duck
      Season 5 - Episode 5
      In a small boat on the Chesapeake Bay, LeVar is on the lookout for ducks who are spending the winter. During the trip, he gets a chance to see a duck up close and show how a couple turns a block of wood into a duck.

      Orson Bean reads The Runaway Duck, a story of a toy duck named Egbert who gets tied to a car by accident and how he then travels all over the world when the car drives off.moreless
    • Show Way
      Show Way
      Season 21 - Episode 5
      As LeVar helps his wife and daughter construct his family tree, Diahann Carroll narrates Show Way, in which the author chronicles her family back to her Great, Great, Great, Great Grandmother, who was a slave in the South. Through traditions passed down to each generation, her family learned to sew "Show Way" quilts that were secretly maps designed to help slaves escape to the north to freedom, and how her relatives taught her to keep up with the love of quilting to retain family history.moreless
    • Germs Make Me Sick!
      Germs Make Me Sick!
      Season 4 - Episode 9
      LeVar goes on a search for microorganisms, distinguishing the good ones from the bad. An animated satire of Hill Street Blues (which ran 1981-1987) shows white blood cells ready to fight germs.
      Molly Mandlin reads Germs Make Me Sick!, explaining how people can catch colds and diseases from exposure to germs.moreless
    • Paul Bunyan
      Paul Bunyan
      Season 3 - Episode 1
      To profile tall tales and legends such as Paul Bunyan, John Henry and Johnny Appleseed, LeVar is at a logger's camp for the bulk of the program. After the featured book, this program shows the work necessary to put out a forest fire. Buddy Ebsen reads the story of legendary lumberman Paul Bunyan, who supposedly carved the Grand Canyon and cut down hundreds of forests in his travels.moreless
    • Feelings
      Season 4 - Episode 3
      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, and has recently been given a pet kitten to help her deal with the death of her last pet cat.moreless
    • Mummies Made in Egypt
      Mummies Made in Egypt
      Season 6 - Episode 9

      A camel is out of place in the city, but LeVar rides one in preparation for a show that takes a close look at mummies. Corrine Orr narrates Mummies Made in Egypt, a book that gives all the facts about what mummies are, how the ancient Egyptians were mummified, and what they resembled.

    • Bea and Mr. Jones
      Bea and Mr. Jones
      Season 1 - Episode 3
      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
    • Rumpelstiltskin
      Season 5 - Episode 7

      This looks like an extension of the previous episode, but it is a separate venture. LeVar appears in proper attire for an English Renaissance festival in Agoura Hills, California.

      Ralph Waite reads the fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a poor miller's daughter who is stuck between a greedy king and a conniving elf to get out of a difficult situation.

    • The Patchwork Quilt
      The Patchwork Quilt
      Season 3 - Episode 2
      LeVar visits the Boston Children's Museum to participate with other children to design a patchwork quilt with everyone having their own individual square.

      Isabel Sanford reads The Patchwork Quilt, a story about a young girl who learns how to make a special quilt from her grandmother, and how she and her mother spend the next year collaborating on the quilt after grandmother falls ill.moreless
    • Martha Speaks
      Season 13 - Episode 2
      Who would believe that LeVar Burton is not around to host this episode? A phone call has distracted LeVar just as he was about to show the viewers a book about cats (not to be confused with "Duncan & Dolores"). While LeVar's away, his dog has the show to his own, devoting it to dogs. Jo Hayden reads the featured story of Martha, a dog who suddenly develops the ability to speak English after eating bowls of alphabet soup. She keeps on talking and talking until her whole family tells her to "Shut up!"moreless
    • Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
      Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
      Season 5 - Episode 9
      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.moreless
    • Unique Monique
      Unique Monique
      Season 20 - Episode 2
      Eliza Dushku reads a story about a girl attending private school who attempts to create her own unique style without breaking any of the school's strict dress code rules.
    • Animal Cafe
      Season 4 - Episode 1
      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.moreless
    • Nosey Mrs. Rat
      Season 12 - Episode 1
      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.

      Faith Prince reads Nosey Mrs. Rat, about a snooping neighbor who always spies on her friends and family for gossip to spread, and how a young boy, looking for revenge after she informed his parents about a school incident, gives the lady her comeuppance using a video camera to spy on her.moreless
    • My Life With the Wave
      Season 17 - Episode 2
      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.
    • Enemy Pie
      Season 19 - Episode 3
      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.moreless
    • Tight Times
      Tight Times
      Season 1 - Episode 1
      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
    • Ox-Cart Man
      Ox-Cart Man
      Season 2 - Episode 3
      LeVar visits Old Sturbridge Village in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to experience reenactments of life in Colonial America. Lorne Greene reads the story of Ox-Cart Man, all about a man who goes to town to sell all the hand-made items he and his family made throughout the year to earn a living.moreless
    • Alistair's Time Machine
      Season 9 - Episode 1
      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.moreless
    • The Bicycle Man
      The Bicycle Man
      Season 8 - Episode 3
      Wheels are set in motion for this program. In-line skating, then a brand-new commodity, get featured side-by-side with bicycles. Tom Matsusaka narrates The Bicycle Man, a story about an American soldier who visits Japan and performs amazing tricks on a bicycle.
    • Tooth-Gnasher Superflash
      Tooth-Gnasher Superflash
      Season 7 - Episode 8
      LeVar, the jack of all trades, becomes a garage mechanic for this episode. Much of it fantasizes about dream cars. Then comes a real dream car, which a man has decorated, followed by stock footage of an assembly line and a piece on a solar-powered car named the Sunraycer. Victoria Jackson narrates Tooth-Gnasher Superflash, the story of a family that buys a car that is not like any other.moreless
    • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
      Season 11 - Episode 7
      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.moreless
    • Fly Away Home
      Season 14 - Episode 1
      Homelessness is discussed as families have lost jobs and homes through tragic circumstances. One family, who lost their home in a fire and now reside in a shelter, is profiled.

      Daniel Saltzman reads Fly Away Home, the story of a young boy and his father who secretly live at the airport after the father lost his job and they became homeless when the boy's mother died, so they couldn't pay their rent. The little boy finds a lost bird flying around the terminal and helps it get back outside.moreless
    • The Wall
      Season 10 - Episode 2
      LeVar visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, and discusses its historical significance to helping people learn about the service men and woman who died in the war. Artist Mia Lin, who designed the black granite wall, is profiled as she describes the reasons she chose the materials and design style for the monument. Jason Ruggiero reads the featured story of a boy who accompanies his father to the monument to search for his paternal grandfather's name on the wall, and his observations of other visitors.moreless
    • Come a Tide
      Season 10 - Episode 6
      LeVar discusses the weather: how it is traced, tracked, and covered in the media.Kids our shown how they can make a "soda bottle tornado",how a barometer works, and read the book, "Come a Tide". All this is prelude to the dramatic footage of Hurricane Hugo as it wrought havoc on South Carolina in 1989.moreless
    • Hill of Fire
      Hill of Fire
      Season 3 - Episode 3
      LeVar visits Hawaii to get a closer look at active volcanoes. He studies lava and the way the earth changes after an eruption. Fernando Escandon reads Hill of Fire, a true story of how a volcano suddenly started to build up in a farmer's field in Mexico, and how the city then had to evacuate.moreless
    • Alistair in Outer Space
      Alistair in Outer Space
      Season 4 - Episode 2
      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.moreless
    • Barn Dance!
      Season 6 - Episode 6
      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.moreless
    • Sophie and Lou
      Season 10 - Episode 5
      LeVar takes a spirited leap into the world of dance. He gets a mambo lesson from Latin dancer, Jackie Rios, and has a hop while learning some fresh hip-hop moves. LeVar also shows that there are different kinds of dancing done all over the world. Lola Falana narrates Sophie and Lou, a story of a young lady who is very shy and lives all alone. Sophie learns to dance by herself until she meets her match.moreless
    • Digging Up Dinosaurs
      Digging Up Dinosaurs
      Season 1 - Episode 6
      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
    • Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures With the Family Lazardo
      It's spring 1989, and LeVar gets in the training camp of the Oakland Athletics (back when it was Tony LaRussa, Dave Stewart, Mark McGwire and Terry Steinbach) for a program on baseball. Edward Asner reads the story of a family who meets a dinosaur who they soon find out loves to play baseball.moreless
    • June 29, 1999
      June 29, 1999
      Season 11 - Episode 10
      What's fact and what's fiction? What's the truth and what's absurd? LeVar looks into unusual stories and tries to distinguish the actual news from fabrications. Charles Kimbrough reads a story (set in the future from the time the show was originally broadcast) about a young girl's science experiment to grow vegetable seeds in space, and how weeks later the country was inundated with giant plants falling from the sky.moreless
    • Mystery on the Docks
      Mystery on the Docks
      Season 2 - Episode 4
      As LeVar explores the docks, Raul Julia narrates the story of Ralph, a short order cook who foils a kidnapping plot to hold Eduardo, a famous opera singer, hostage.
    • Boxes for Katje
      Boxes for Katje
      Season 21 - Episode 3

      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 Tuke reads a story about a US pen-pal who sends care packages to her friend in war-torn Holland after WWII.

    • The Adventures of Taxi Dog
      Season 9 - Episode 2
      LeVar is a taxi driver in New York for a day, but the focus of this show soon lands on the subject of a service dog as well as how dogs are such good pets to us.

      Vincent Gardenia reads the story of an adopted stray dog who helps his new owner, a cab driver, get better tips when he entertains the customers on rides.moreless
    • Bread Is for Eating
      Season 15 - Episode 2
      How all different types of bread are made, and how just about every culture has some form of bread, is explored in this episode.
    • Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
      Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
      Season 1 - Episode 4
      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
    • A Chair For My Mother
      A Chair For My Mother
      Season 2 - Episode 5
      LeVar and eight other actors are rehearsing for a musical number called "Teamwork." Amy Linker("Square Pegs")reads A Chair for My Mother, about a family that has to save up money to replace furniture lost when their apartment burns down in a fire. It also tells about how the rest of the neighborhood pulled together to help them during their loss.moreless
    • 9/18/91
      This show gets steeped into a world of Native American art.
    • Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus
      LeVar explores the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, photographing its natural environment and learning about how animals in the desert adapt to this kind of climate. Philip Basco narrates the feature book on the natural world of the famous desert cactus, the giant saguaro.
    • Appelemondo's Dreams
      Season 12 - Episode 5
      Creativity is the theme as LeVar spends the day painting a mural and other artwork. Michael Learned tells the story of Appelemondo, a boy whose daydreams were so vivid that they could be seen developing above his head, and how his friends learned how to capture the dreams to make beautiful paintings to decorate their town.moreless
    • The Paper Crane
      The Paper Crane
      Season 5 - Episode 4
      LeVar provides insight on Japanese culture. Keye Luke reads the story of a kind restaurant owner who is thanked by a customer with a magical crane made from a napkin, whose dancing spectacle soon brings in the guests to make the failing business prosperous again.
    • Max
      Season 19 - Episode 2
      LeVar profiles people who are considered "Everyday Heroes" for doing important jobs to provide services, like firefighters, doctors, police officers, nurses, and even jobs like lawyers, judges and teachers. Regina King and Ian Desdone read the story of Max, a boy born into a family of superheroes who hasn't shown any signs of having powers yet.moreless
    • Our Big Home: An Earth Poem
      Our Big Home: An Earth Poem
      Season 19 - Episode 4
      LeVar visits the United Nations building to learn more about how different countries of the world try to work together. Naomi Judd reads Our Big Home, a poem about how everything in the world is connected to each other and how we all must work together to make it succeed.
    • The Purple Coat
      The Purple Coat
      Season 6 - Episode 5
      In New York again, LeVar goes to get a tailor-made jacket. In between comes a visit to the Fashion Institute of Technology.
    • Brush
      Season 6 - Episode 4
      Can inanimate things come to life, as the feature book suggests? LeVar finds out for himself in a factory where all the goods for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade are stored.
    • Bugs
      Season 6 - Episode 2
      With microorganisms under his belt, LeVar now goes on the lookout for insects.
    • The Tin Forest
      Season 19 - Episode 1
      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.moreless
    • Badger's Parting Gifts
      Badger's Parting Gifts
      Season 18 - Episode 6
      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; after he is gone, they all reminisce about all the things they learned from Badger's teachings.moreless
    • Sports Pages
      Season 7 - Episode 10
      LeVar narrates Sports Pages in addition to fronting a hodgepodge of sports activities.
    • Stellaluna
      Season 12 - Episode 8
      Bats are explored in this episode, showing the different kinds and their natural habitats.

      Anne Jackson reads Stellaluna, about a baby fruit bat who gets separated from her mother and accidentally falls into a bird's nest, and gets adopted by the mother bird.
    • Knots on a Counting Rope
      Knots on a Counting Rope
      Season 6 - Episode 8
      What's a handicap to a determined individual? With LeVar camping out by himself, the show banks itself on a news anchor who had been born with deformed hands and feet. The featured story, Knots on a Counting Rope, tells about how a boy who is blind faces his own fears.
    • Galimoto
      Season 9 - Episode 4
      There is a lot one can do with wire, from sculpture to circus acts.
    • Berlioz the Bear
      Season 10 - Episode 10
      LeVar cruises the musical realms of New York in a program featuring the Boys Choir of Harlem. James Averynarrates the tale of Berlioz the Bear, a story about a bass-playing bear who gets in a jam. His animal friends who play music help him out, but all fail until a bee from inside Berlioz's bass saves the day.moreless
    • Watch the Stars Come Out
      Watch the Stars Come Out
      Season 4 - Episode 4
      Videotaped at Ellis Island in 1985, this show is truly American or, more correctly, a salute to all those who immigrated to America. A big portion of this show is LeVar's journey to the Statue of Liberty, then under restoration. 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.moreless
    • Jack, the Seal and the Sea
      Jack, the Seal and the Sea
      Season 8 - Episode 2
      LeVar takes a journey aboard a fishing boat to explore small ocean wildlife, such as plankton, sea horses, and small sharks as he learns information from oceanographers about caring for the seas and oceans. Leslie Uggams reads the featured story of a fisherman who decides to educate his neighbors about prevention of water pollution after he must rescue a small seal trapped in debris.moreless
    • Ruth Law Thrills a Nation
      Season 12 - Episode 10
      Once again the show looks into firsts in air travel, recounting great pilots such as Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart and the featured book's heroine, Ruth Law. Linda Lavin narrates the story of Ruth Law, who traveled from Chicago to New York City in a single engine airplane, without benefit of headlights to keep the weight down, in the early 20th century, in two days.moreless
    • When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba
      When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba
      Season 17 - Episode 4
      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."moreless
    • 9/26/91
      LeVar takes a train ride from California to Washington state. Along the way, we learn about trains and how the transcontinental railroad came to be. Brian Dennehy narrates the true story of how a young teen named Kate Shelley risked her life to save the engineers of a train that crashed into a river when the bridge near her home collapsed, and how she had to get word to the nearest station to alert them to stop the express train.moreless
    • Tar Beach
      Season 10 - Episode 1
      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.
    • Raccoons and Ripe Corn
      Season 9 - Episode 7
      LeVar spends the day following around wildlife artist and children's book author Jim Arnofsky, who shows LeVar how he is inspired to create the stories by the signs of animals around the woods near his home.

      Julia Barr reads several of Arnofsky's books: Raccoons and Ripe Corn, about a family of raccoons that feast on a nearby corn crop; Come Out, Muskrats!, about some shy muskrats hiding in their pond home; and Deer at the Brook, about a family of deer taking a drink at the stream.moreless
    • Imogene's Antlers
      Imogene's Antlers
      Season 4 - Episode 8
      LeVar decides to take a closer look at human's fascination with how animals are different from people by visiting the Philadelphia Zoo. He also takes time to interview a band participating in the Philadelphia Mummer's Parade, who have the theme of Under the Sea this year, so they have to practice performing in fish costumes. Imogene Coca reads the whimsical story of Imogene's Antlers, a funny story about a girl who wakes up one morning to find deer antlers have grown on her head overnight.moreless
    • Bored--Nothing to Do!
      Bored--Nothing to Do!
      Season 7 - Episode 9
      Focusing on planes in this episode, LeVar takes a flying lesson and flies a plane himself. Also included: the activities of a top-notch airline in flight, as well as a look at the people who made the dream of flying come true, like Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindburgh. Alex Borg and David Hyman read the story of two boys who decide to build their own airplane, using household items, after their mother sends them outside to play when they complain of being bored.moreless
    • Amazing Grace
      Season 11 - Episode 1
      LeVar visits a theater to discuss acting and how pretending to be someone else sometimes helps people express themselves in different ways. He also visits with his friend, Whoopi Goldberg, who was launching her own talk show, and discussed how her unique look has sometimes helped, and hindered her career as an actress/ comedienne.

      Tyne Daly reads Amazing Grace, a story of a little girl who loved acting out all the stories she read and heard, and how she wouldn't let her classmate's prejudiced remarks prevent her from auditioning for the lead in the school play.moreless
    • Math Curse
      Math Curse
      Season 17 - Episode 1
      LeVar is working all alone in a mail room, where everything is disorganized. Question: How do you get everything in order? Answer: Use math. Michelle Tractenberg reads the story of a girl who feels she is under a "math curse" after her math teacher mentions that every situation can be described as a math equation. Suddenly, she can't seem to stop herself from converting every event in her life into a complicated word problem, and fears she will never figure out how to escape!moreless
    • Always My Dad
      Season 15 - Episode 1
      BJ Crosby narrates the story of a young girl and her brothers, who spend the summer with their grandparents while both their parents work at jobs out of town, and how their father visits whenever he can.
    • Snowy Day: Stories and Poems
      Season 9 - Episode 10
      LeVar travels to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is a perfect spot for a few poetry readings and winter observations. Some of which include sledding down hills, playing in the snow, building snow-people, and even meeting someone who races in the famous Iditarod.
    • The Salamander Room
      Season 11 - Episode 4
      LeVar explores the rain forest and animals in their habitats by visiting a park that recreates the rain forest environment artificially to make the animals comfortable. This episode also includes a film of scientists who study the region's animals from above by climbing inside a tree's canopy. Lynne Thigpen reads The Salamander Room, about a little boy who finds a small newt while on a nature walk, and all the rationalizing he does to convince his mother to let him keep the salamander as a pet by turning his bedroom into a model rain forest.moreless
    • The Wonderful Towers of Watts
      The Wonderful Towers of Watts
      Season 13 - Episode 1
      LeVar visits the suburb of Watts in L.A. California to talk to some of the young people in the area and find out how they are trying to change the negative image of the town due to incident like the Watts riots in 1964.

      Angela Bassett reads a true story of a man who worked in a ceramic dishware company, and brought home broken scraps of pottery to create his own massive sculpture that he spent years building that eventually became the Watts Towers.moreless
    • 10/15/92
      What is it like to be adopted? In what may be the high point of the 10th season, this show has a lengthy sequence about adopted children in families. Andrew Lei narrates Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies, a story about a boy who was adopted by a pair of parents who wanted a child very much.moreless
    • And Still the Turtle Watched
      Season 11 - Episode 9
      LeVar discusses how people can help to preserve animals and plants in nature that are in danger of extinction. Stories profiled include scientists working to improve the bald eagle population by raising chicks and re-releasing them into the mountains, and an elementary school class that decides to plant trees in their neighborhood. Michael Ansara narrates an unusual story, told from the viewpoint of a turtle sculpture carved in a rock, and how he wishes to preserve the history of Manatoo native Americans, despite being vandalized and thought to be ignored by later generations after he was carved.moreless
    • Visiting Day
      Season 20 - Episode 1
      The series tackles a delicate subject of how some children must deal with a parent in prison. Alfre Woodard reads Visiting Day, a tale about a young girl preparing to visit her father in jail on his birthday, and how she and her grandmother get ready for the trip to the prison. Afterwards, LeVar visits a real family planning to see their father and husband in jail as he finishes his prison term for shooting at a man during an argument, and how they have to cope with the social stigma of having to explain an ex-convict.moreless
    • Humphrey the Lost Whale: A True Story
      LeVar sailing on the Atlantic coast whale watching. He and a team of scientists learn about how whales eat and how they live in their habitats in the ocean.

      Jane Pauley narrates the true story of Humphrey, the Lost Whale, all about a humpback whale who gets separated from his pod and gets stuck under a bridge over the Sacramento River.moreless
    • Borreguita and the Coyote
      Season 12 - Episode 2
      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. LeVar even meets up with the popular Latin rock band, Los Lobos.

      Olga Merediz reads Borreguita and the Coyote, the tale of a clever lamb who continually outsmarts a coyote determined to eat her.moreless
    • Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin
      Season 15 - Episode 5
      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.moreless
    • Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie
      Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie
      Season 5 - Episode 2
      Sada Thompson reads the story of Abbie, the eldest daughter of a family that tends a lighthouse, and how she had to keep the lamps working during a storm while her father was in the city getting supplies.

      LeVar visits a family that runs their own sailboat tourism business and actually live on their small craft.moreless
    • The Carousel
      The Carousel
      Season 16 - Episode 5
      LeVar discusses how people cope with losing things, and how memories of special events or favorite things help when the lost item is someone rather than something. Sarah Hubbard reads The Carousel, about two young girls who decide to walk through their favorite park during a rainstorm, because it reminds them of something their late mother liked to do, and how they must use their mother's tools to repair the carousel after the horses magically come to life and run off the ride.moreless
    • Silent Lotus
      Season 11 - Episode 5
      This episode takes a look-in at deaf culture. LeVar discusses forms of communication that doesn't involve words, like hand signals, mime, and gestures, like in charades. He also asks a friend who is a deaf actress to teach him some sentences in sign language. Lea Salonga reads the featured story of a shy young girl in Cambodia, whose parents realized her lack of communication was due to being a deaf mute, but in noticing her natural talent for dancing, approached the king to request that their daughter be allowed to join the royal dancing troupe.moreless
    • Lemonade for Sale
      Season 18 - Episode 3
      LeVar explores way that young people can earn money before they're old enough for official jobs in this show. One of the profiles is of a young man trying to earn his college tuition by selling nail polish to his fellow students. 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.moreless
    • Owen
      Season 14 - Episode 4
      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.moreless
    • Hotel Animal
      Season 15 - Episode 3
      Big and small is looked at in different ways. John Cunningham reads a story about a lizard couple who go on vacation, only to find that the hotel they booked is much more equipped to service large animals, so they end up sleeping in a dollhouse.
    • Uncle Jed's Barber Shop
      Season 14 - Episode 2
      LeVar visits his favorite barbershop for a trim, and reads the featured book while waiting his turn. Regina Taylor tells the story of how Uncle Jed, who had a dream of owning his own barbershop and kept saving up despite several financial setbacks, including the bank crash at the start of the Great Depression, finally achieved his goal at the age of 79.moreless
    • On the Day You Were Born
      On the Day You Were Born
      Season 16 - Episode 1
      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.moreless
    • Hip Cat
      Hip Cat
      Season 16 - Episode 2
      Jazz music is profiled in this episode, as LeVar listens in on musicians like Joshua Redman as he and some others rehearse for a performance. Ann Duquesnay reads the featured story of a cat who plays the saxophone and how he makes a living playing music in jazz clubs.
    • Regina's Big Mistake
      Regina's Big Mistake
      Season 16 - Episode 3
      As LeVar works to make a clay model of his childhood home as a birthday gift for his mother, artists and their different mediums are profiled. Anna Holbrooks reads the story of Regina, who frets about making the perfect drawing in art class, and gets frustrated when her classmates accuse her of copying them when she has difficulty deciding what to draw after the teacher gives the class a theme.moreless
    • Saturday Sancocho
      Season 17 - Episode 3
      LeVar attends a rummage sale to observe how people sometimes barter for items when they don't have money to buy them. He also makes some trades of his own to get some items he wanted. 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.moreless
    • Worksong
      Season 17 - Episode 5
      All different types of jobs are explored in this episode. David Canary reads the poem Work Song, about how different types of jobs are needed throughout the day and at all types of hours, and how some jobs are dependent on others.
    • Pet Stories You Don't Have to Walk
      Season 18 - Episode 2
      "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.
    • The Shamans Apprentice
      The Shamans Apprentice
      Season 1 - Episode 136
      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