Reading Rainbow

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PBS (ended 2006)

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  • Show Way

    Full Episode

    S 21 : Ep 5 - 11/10/06

    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
  • Game Day

    Full Episode

    S 21 : Ep 4 - 11/9/06

    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.moreless
  • Boxes for Katje

    Full Episode

    S 21 : Ep 3 - 11/8/06

    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 Jute reads a story about a US penpal who sends care packages to her friend in war-torn Holland after WWII.moreless
  • I Lost My Tooth in Africa

    Full Episode

    S 21 : Ep 2 - 11/7/06

    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 Biggest Test in the Universe

    Full Episode

    S 21 : Ep 1 - 11/6/06

    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.moreless
  • Two Old Potatoes and Me

    Full Episode

    S 20 : Ep 5 - 1/21/05

    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
  • Beegu

    Full Episode

    S 20 : Ep 4 - 1/20/05

    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.moreless
  • Mr. George Baker

    Full Episode

    S 20 : Ep 3 - 12/17/04

    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.moreless
  • Unique Monique

    Full Episode

    S 20 : Ep 2 - 12/16/04

    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.
  • Visiting Day

    Full Episode

    S 20 : Ep 1 - 12/15/04

    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
  • Our Big Home: An Earth Poem

    Full Episode

    S 19 : Ep 4 - 9/6/02

    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.moreless
  • Enemy Pie

    Full Episode

    S 19 : Ep 3 - 9/5/02

    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
  • Max

    Full Episode

    S 19 : Ep 2 - 9/3/02

    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
  • The Tin Forest

    Full Episode

    S 19 : Ep 1 - 9/2/02

    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

    Full Episode

    S 18 : Ep 6 - 4/20/01

    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
  • My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States

    Full Episode

    S 18 : Ep 5 - 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
  • The Secret Shortcut

    Full Episode

    S 18 : Ep 4 - 2/16/01

    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
  • Lemonade for Sale

    Full Episode

    S 18 : Ep 3 - 1/19/01

    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
  • Pet Stories You Don't Have to Walk

    Full Episode

    S 18 : Ep 2 - 11/20/00

    "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.moreless
  • The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest

    Full Episode

    S 18 : Ep 1 - 10/23/00

    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.moreless
  • Worksong

    Full Episode

    S 17 : Ep 5 - 10/9/98

    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.moreless
  • When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba

    Full Episode

    S 17 : Ep 4 - 10/8/98

    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
  • Saturday Sancocho

    Full Episode

    S 17 : Ep 3 - 10/7/98

    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
  • My Life With the Wave

    Full Episode

    S 17 : Ep 2 - 10/6/98

    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.moreless
  • Math Curse

    Full Episode

    S 17 : Ep 1 - 10/5/98

    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
  • The Carousel

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 5 - 4/11/97

    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
  • Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 4 - 4/10/97

    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
  • Regina's Big Mistake

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 3 - 4/9/97

    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
  • Hip Cat

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 2 - 4/8/97

    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.moreless
  • On the Day You Were Born

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 1 - 4/7/97

    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
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