I am a child of the 80’s and I grew up watching Reading Rainbow on TV with LeVar Burton as my guide. I was an only child of a single mother for many years and the TV was my friend. However, when Reading Rainbow was on I felt like I had a friend to go on adventures with and it was LeVar who taught me that I would never be alone because as the song says ” I can go anywhere, I can be anything.”
Reading Rainbow is a franchise that I trust and was happy to share it with my two girls who are ages four and eight. I saw the Reading Rainbow app and decided to give it a try on my daughter’s Kindle because it came with five free books and FREE is my kind of price.
Reading Rainbow App
After they used the app for a few weeks they told me how much they loved it. I decided to pay for the full reading experience and get them the paid subscription, thankfully they have a family sharing plan. My girls have been using it now for almost six months and are still loving it. They talk about LeVar all the time!
Within the app there are seven story lands to choose from:
- Action, Adventure and Magic Tales
- Genius Academy
- Awesome People
- National Geographic
- Animal Kingdom
- My Friends, My Family
- Music Mountain
Within each land there are almost 30 books to choose from and at least five or more field trip videos to watch on each subject. New content is added each week so your kiddos won’t be bored with the books or field trips. My girls have watch many of the field trip videos over and over again and they are currently obsessed with the Crayola Crayon Factory video.
Your not going to find any Disney books or popular franchise books like Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake or Ninjago. These are quality books that you wish your kid would check out at the Library. These books come to life with the just the touch of your child’s finger.
Your child can put the books they are currently reading or their favorite books in the virtual backpack. They can read as many books as they want, but this is just a nice place to keep their top five. Each book can be read to the child by the app, or they can read it themselves. Many of the books are interactive as well with cute animation or sounds when tapped in a specific spot. Your child will know where to tap with the visual clues given while reading the book.
Field Trip Videos
My oldest daughter is eight and a visual learner. She has learned a lot of fun facts from LeVar’s video field trips. She talks a lot more to us about what she is learning than when we ask her what she learned in school. She is more engaged by LeVar!!
Recently we visited the Aquarium of the Pacific in Southern California. While we were looking at one of the exhibits she got so excited and started jumping up and down said “I’ve been here before with LeVar.” I said “Um, what?” But then she explained that she had just watched a field trip video of when LeVar visited the Aquarium of the Pacific and she proceeded to tell me about baby sharks and sea otters and she went on and on….yup totally worth that subscription.
Here is a sneak peek at the filming of the field trip video
Disney Social Media Moms Celebration
In April 2014 I attended the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at Disneyland. It is a celebration for bloggers and their families like no other. One day our families were treated to a morning of fun by Disney Junior complete with celebrity appearances.
The morning started with the bloggers in one convention room eating breakfast and listening about a new campaign called Get a Book, Give a Book. As I sat down at my place there was a small stack of books that I could give to my children including a dry erase board meant for tracking minutes spent reading. I looked closer at the board and saw the Reading Rainbow logo. I told my friend Cam next sitting next to me “If LeVar Burton steps out on that stage next I am going to go bananas.”
Well it didn’t take long and before I knew it he was standing on the stage and I was standing up cheering loudly for one of my childhood heroes.
Here is a snip it of what he said to our group.
LeVar Burton Reads from His App
Once the attendees event finished we then meet up with our families in another room where they were being entertained by Disney Junior characters. I kept it a secret that LeVar Burton would soon appear and read them a story. My girls were in awe when he arrived and was sitting right there in front of them. Since they enjoy the Reading Rainbow App field trip videos they thought it was awesome to see him in person.
Here is a video I took of LeVar Burton reading Young Henry and the Dragon as part of the Disney Social Media Moms conference.
LeVar Burton is on a mission to bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere. He wants to bring Reading Rainbow to where the kids of today hangout, and that is not in front of the TV anymore. Our kids are on their tablets or on the internet. LeVar wants to bring Reading Rainbow’s unlimited library of interactive books and video field trips to kids everywhere & help classrooms most in need.
My eight year old made this for me for Mother’s Day, I was honored that she would create such a beautiful picture of us enjoying Reading Rainbow. I will keep it for many years to come.
About the Reading Rainbow App
Hosted by LeVar Burton, the re-imagined Reading Rainbow app includes an unlimited library of children’s books and video field trips to ignite your child’s imagination. To date, children ages 3 to 9 are reading, on average, 140,000 books a week in the Reading Rainbow app — that’s more than 12 million books read and video field trips watched since launch! Learn more here.
About LeVar Burton
LeVar Burton is an actor, director and passionate literacy advocate known for hosting Reading Rainbow and his roles in Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Learn more here.