Reading Rainbow

PBS (ended 2006)




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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 5 - 10/11/96

    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
  • Someplace Else

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 4 - 10/10/96

    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
  • Hotel Animal

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 3 - 10/9/96

    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.moreless
  • Bread Is for Eating

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 2 - 10/8/96

    How all different types of bread are made, and how just about every culture has some form of bread, is explored in this episode.
  • Always My Dad

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 1 - 10/7/96

    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.moreless
  • Owen

    Full Episode

    S 14 : Ep 4 - 4/11/96

    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
  • How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

    Full Episode

    S 14 : Ep 3 - 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 reads How 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
  • Uncle Jed's Barber Shop

    Full Episode

    S 14 : Ep 2 - 4/9/96

    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
  • Fly Away Home

    Full Episode

    S 14 : Ep 1 - 4/8/96

    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
  • Archibald Frisby

    Full Episode

    S 13 : Ep 5 - 10/6/95

    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

    Full Episode

    S 13 : Ep 4 - 10/5/95

    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
  • Alejandro's Gift

    Full Episode

    S 13 : Ep 3 - 10/4/95

    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
  • Martha Speaks

    Full Episode

    S 13 : Ep 2 - 10/3/95

    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
  • Ruth Law Thrills a Nation

    Full Episode

    S 12 : Ep 10 - 10/14/94

    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
  • My Shadow

    Full Episode

    S 12 : Ep 9 - 10/13/94

    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.moreless
  • Stellaluna

    Full Episode

    S 12 : Ep 8 - 10/12/94

    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.moreless
  • Hail to Mail

    Full Episode

    S 12 : Ep 7 - 10/11/94

    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.moreless
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