Reading Rainbow - Season 4

PBS (ended 2006)




Episode Guide

  • Abiyoyo
    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.

  • Germs Make Me Sick!
    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
  • Imogene's Antlers
    Imogene's Antlers
    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
  • The Milk Makers
    The Milk Makers
    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.
  • Space Case
    Space Case
    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
  • Mama Don't Allow
    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
  • Watch the Stars Come Out
    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
  • Feelings
    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
  • Alistair in Outer Space
    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
  • Animal Cafe
    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