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In celebration of 40 years of Reading Rainbow, we will be sharing 40 FULL EPISODES of Reading Rainbow on our YouTube channel

For a limited time only, enjoy full episodes of the original series. Episodes will be made available to stream on YouTube one at a time, released every Tuesday and Thursday - through February 2024. 


Stay posted to see which episodes are included in this special 40th Anniversary treat for YOU (or check YouTube if you just can't wait ) and subscribe to our YouTube channel to never miss an episode.

  Watch Reading Rainbow Full Episodes

Visiting Day

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Visiting Day | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

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.

Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrator: James E. Ransome
Narrator: Alfre Woodard

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 2004.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Badger's Parting Gifts

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Badger's Parting Gifts | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

In a touching story about friendship, beloved old Badger dies, and his friends are overwhelmed by their loss. In time, however, they comfort themselves remembering personal moments as well as the good times they shared with their pal. LeVar shares memories and feelings about his late grandmother and joins some young friends who have created artwork in honor of their loved ones. Then a dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares how the founder’s spirit is still present.

Author & Illustrator: Susan Varley 
Narrator: Ruby Dee 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 2001.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Lemonade for Sale

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Lemonade for Sale | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

In this math-based story, members of the Elm Street Kids’ Club need money to fix up their clubhouse, so they decide to sell lemonade and monitor their success by tracking daily sales. LeVar takes viewers to the floor of the American Stock Exchange for a closer look at the economics and challenges of running a business. We explore two very different kinds of companies: Nantucket Nectars, a rapidly growing for-profit business that began on a boat in Nantucket Harbor, and Dress for Success, a non-profit organization that helps low-income women make tailored transitions into the workforce.

Author: Stuart J. Murphy 
Illustrator: Tricia Tusa 
Narrator: Andrea McArdle 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 2001.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

The Shaman's Apprentice

Reading Rainbow (Official)

The Shaman's Apprentice | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

In this true story, a fatal disease leaves Tirio villagers with little faith in the shaman's healing. An outsider helps them understand the importance of the shaman's wisdom and enables a young boy to realize his dream to become a shaman. LeVar and ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin visit this Amazon Tirio village and meet the boy from the story who has become a shaman. We learn about rain forest plants with healing qualities and find out what life is like in an Amazon village.

Authors: Lynne Cherry and Mark Plotkin 
Illustrator: Lynne Cherry 
Narrator: Susan Sarandon 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 2000.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Work Song

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Work Song | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Work Song is a lyrical presentation of people at work. As another workday begins, LeVar heads off to a busy breakfast spot and speculates on all the jobs there are to do. We explore a wide variety of jobs — ordinary and unusual — all pieces of the puzzle that fit together to make up our world of work.

Author: Gary Paulsen 
Illustrator: Ruth Wright Paulsen 
Narrator: David Canary 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1998.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Math Curse

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Math Curse | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

This episode, based on the book Math Curse, is a zany and hilarious look at how most everything in our lives is math related. LeVar tracks down, scouts out and sneaks up on math in action. He finds out firsthand that a factory, shipping company, or artist can’t run without it.

Author: Jon Scieszka 
Illustrator: Lane Smith 
Narrator: Michelle Trachtenberg 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1998.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Giving Thanks

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Giving Thanks | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

This prayer of the Iroquois Indians celebrates the precious and rare gift of the natural world — and the resources of the Earth. On a fall day, LeVar stops to express appreciation for the gifts of the Earth. We connect to the Earth with a visit to a family who grows and harvests cranberries, then on to a pueblo where native artists use clay from the Earth to make pottery. Finally, we visit a group of children who are planting trees in their neighborhood. Children sing “Come You Dreamers,” a song about taking care of the Earth.

Author: Chief Jake Swamp 
Illustrator: Erwin Printup Jr. 
Narrator: Nicholson Earl Billey 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1997.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Hip Cat

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Hip Cat | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

A cat creates a sound all his own and then experiences how the rhyme and rhythm enchant his audience. Jazz is America’s most original music form. LeVar explores examples of improvisation in music, literature, art and dance, and we meet Joshua Redman, a jazz saxophonist who talks about how music has influenced his life.

Author: Jonathan London 
Illustrator: Woodleigh Hubbard 
Narrator: Ann Duquesnay 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1997.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

This book explores how rhyming, melodies and mathematics help combine sounds of different instruments, making music fun — and fun music. Taking a trip to The Julliard School in New York City, LeVar discovers how orchestra members combine their sounds and work as a team under the leadership of the conductor. Then STOMP, a percussion performance group, demonstrates how creativity, expression, rhythm, dance and self-expression are incorporated into a team effort that’s very active and entertaining.
 
Author: Lloyd Moss 
Illustrator: Marjorie Priceman 
Narrator: Gregory Hines 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1996.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Bread Is for Eating

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Bread Is for Eating | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

This book explains the process of making bread - from growing the grain to baking it - in a song sung in English and in Spanish. Bread is a staple in every culture, and LeVar talks about how the differences in cultures impact on this common food. A Hopi woman shows how she makes blue cornmeal bread, and we visit an East Indian restaurant where they bake bread in a tandoori oven.
 
Authors: David and Phillis Gershator 
Illustrator: Emma Shaw-Smith 
Narrators: Cecilia Arana and Michael Uribe 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1996.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

How Much Is a Million?

Reading Rainbow (Official)

How Much Is a Million? | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Illustrations and text from this feature book help readers visualize how much a million, a billion and a trillion really are. LeVar explores ways of counting large numbers as he talks to people who share grouping and estimating techniques. In a visit to the Crayola Crayon Factory, workers show how crayons are made and talk about the large number of crayons they handle in their jobs. Then on to Giants Stadium where vendors and stadium employees use estimation to prepare for game day.
 
Author: David M. Schwartz 
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg 
Narrator: Nick Sullivan 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1996.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

Reading Rainbow (Official)

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World | Reading Rainbow Complete | 40th Anniversary Celebration

With the market closed, a cook travels around the world to gather ingredients for making an apple pie. LeVar joins chef Curtis Aikens in his kitchen, which is also his laboratory where he creates new recipes, to get some cooking tips from the chef. Curtis tells LeVar that when he was younger, he hid the fact he was not able to read. Finally, at the age of 26, he asked for help. Viewers also find out how chemistry is used every day at the Turkey Hill ice cream factory.

Author & Illustrator: Marjorie Priceman 
Narrator: Helen Mirren 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1996.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Uncle Jed’s Barber Shop

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Uncle Jed’s Barber Shop | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Sara Jean’s Uncle Jed, the only black barber in the county, overcomes many setbacks, including the Great Depression of the 1930s, as he works to save enough money to open his own barbershop. LeVar finds out about making dreams come true with determination and faith, as he talks with The Persuasions, an a cappella quartet. These friends pursued their dream in spite of being told that a singing group without musical instruments didn’t have a chance for success. 

Author: Margaree King Mitchell 
Illustrator: James Ransome 
Narrator: Regina Taylor 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1996.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Fly Away Home

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Fly Away Home | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

The feature book is a touching story of a homeless boy and his father who move from terminal to terminal in an airport, trying not to be noticed and discovered. The boy expresses frustration about being homeless yet has hope for the future. Children whose families have been homeless share how this happened and how it felt. LeVar encourages us to make a difference in our communities. Viewers meet a boy who volunteers at City Harvest, an organization which gathers prepared food for distribution to the homeless, and the girl who began Common Sense, an organization whose members collect pennies and use them to buy items for homeless shelters.

Author: Eve Bunting 
Illustrator: Ronald Himler 
Narrator: Daniel Saltzman 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1996.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Alejandro's Gift

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Alejandro's Gift | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

The “gift” Alejandro gives to various desert animals is that of water. LeVar explores how important water is for all living things. He visits a California oasis and talks with a naturalist about the importance of this water source for the Cahuilla, a Native American tribe of the past, as well as for animals. Viewers visit Niagara Falls and find out how waterpower can provide electricity.

Author: Richard E. Albert 
Illustrator: Sylvia Long 
Narrator: Francisco Rivela 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1995.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Ruth Law Thrills a Nation

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Ruth Law Thrills a Nation | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

This true story describes the record-breaking flight of a daring woman pilot, Ruth Law, from Chicago to New York in 1916. LeVar takes viewers on a trip through time from the barnstorming days and flying machines of Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman to get her pilot’s license, to modern aviation machines and female pilots. Viewers will also see a teenage pilot who takes to the air for the first time, following in the footsteps of the great women who went before her.

Author & Illustrator: Don Brown 
Narrator: Linda Lavin 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1994.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Stellaluna

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Stellaluna | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

This is the charming story of a baby bat who falls headfirst into a bird’s nest and is raised in a most peculiar way by a family of birds until she is reunited with her mother. LeVar discovers a mysterious and fascinating world of nocturnal animals. Viewers see bats in their natural habitats and visit with a bat expert. Then, at the New York University Sleep Disorders Program, viewers learn about the world of slumber and dreams, and follow a young girl as she takes part in a sleep study.

Author & Illustrator: Janell Cannon 
Narrator: Anne Jackson 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1994.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

The Lotus Seed

Reading Rainbow (Official)

The Lotus Seed | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

When forced to leave her country, a young Vietnamese girl takes a lotus seed with her as a reminder of her past. This book inspires LeVar to explore traditions and heritage passed down through generations when he meets young people from Vietnam, Yemen, Russia and South Africa who have recently come to the United States. Each retains unique attributes of their own heritage yet also contribute to a multicultural, harmonious society.

Author: Sherry Garland 
Illustrator: Tatsuro Kiuchi 
Narrator: Rona Figueroa 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1994.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Borreguita and the Coyote

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Borreguita and the Coyote | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

A little lamb becomes very clever to keep a coyote from eating her up. This book introduces viewers to Mexican American culture which is reflected in music, art, stories and language. LeVar spends time with a family who have made guitars for three generations, visits a mural painter and her students who are working on self-portraits, and joins Los Lobos as they share their music and cultural ties.

Author: Verna Aardema
Illustrator: Petra Mathers
Narrator: Olga Merediz

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1994.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

And Still the Turtle Watched

Reading Rainbow (Official)

And Still the Turtle Watched | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

A turtle carved in rock many years ago by Native Americans watches the river below. In the span of time it observes, many ecological changes with a great deal of sadness. LeVar takes viewers on a historical journey from the first settlers in this country to the present and explores our responsibility to care for the earth. Scientists show how they care for and raise nearly extinct bald eagles and release them into their natural habitat.

Author: Sheila MacGill-Callahan 
Illustrator: Barry Moser 
Narrator: Michael Ansara 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1994.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Follow the Drinking Gourd 

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Follow the Drinking Gourd | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Runaway slaves journey north along the Underground Railroad by following directions in a song, ""The Drinking Gourd."" LeVar celebrates the road to freedom paved by the Underground Railroad, introducing viewers to the history, heroes, stories and music of the African American culture which emerged from slavery. An a cappella group, Sweet Honey in The Rock, perform and share their historical knowledge of slavery.

Author & Illustrator: Jeanette Winter 
Narrator: Keith David 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1993.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Amazing Grace

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Amazing Grace | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Grace is a little girl who wants to be Peter Pan in the school play. She refuses to give up her dream even though she’s a different race and sex than the traditional Peter Pan. Actress Whoopie Goldberg and other women share how they’ve succeeded in nontraditional situations — like working as a boiler mechanic and playing hockey.

Author: Mary Hoffman
Illustrator: Caroline Binch
Narrator: Tyne Daly

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1993.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies|Reading Rainbow Complete Episode|40th Anniversary Celebration

A young boy tells of coming to this country to be adopted. He remembers how unfamiliar and frightening some things were in his new home, before he accepted the love found there. This tender story about a family formed through adoption leads LeVar to explore the variety of ways families are created. The Harris family has two children, both adopted. The Peck family is a single mother and nine adopted children. The Abney family is a set of parents, two brothers and an adopted sister. Viewers learn that families are really created by love.

Author: Ann Turner 
Illustrator: James Graham Hale 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1992.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

 

Activities and Educational Resources

Rechenka's Eggs

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Rechenka's Eggs | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

An injured goose rescued by Babushka, having broken the painted eggs intended for the Easter Festival in Moskva, lays thirteen marvelously colored eggs to replace them. She then leaves behind one final miracle — in egg form — before returning to her own kind. The author, Patricia Polacco, demonstrates the traditional Ukrainian egg-painting art (pysanky), and shares how she got the idea for this story. Viewers will gain a new appreciation for the egg in art as LeVar decorates eggs and finds objects that are egg-shaped. Viewers also see the practical side during a montage of animal babies emerging from eggs.
 
Author & Illustrator: Patricia Polacco 
Narrator: Viveca Lindfors 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1992.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel.

Activities and Educational Resources

Tar Beach

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Tar Beach | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she sees for herself and her family. LeVar takes viewers up on the roof to a “tar beach,” an urban oasis in the sky. A pigeon keeper and a rooftop gardener are interviewed and explain why they have chosen their respective hobbies. LeVar tells about the George Washington Bridge, which was constructed in 1928. Viewers are taken to new heights as present-day bridge workers explain their jobs. 

Author & Illustrator: Faith Ringgold 
Narrator: Ruby Dee 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1992.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

Reading Rainbow (Official)

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode| 40th Anniversary Celebration

Little Gopher follows his destiny of becoming an artist for his people and bringing the colors of the sunset down to the earth. LeVar visits the Pueblo Indian people of Taos, New Mexico where Mother Earth plays a crucial role in their art. He interviews a painter, a family of pottery makers, and a family of dancers. Each explains the traditions behind their art and the Native American culture. 

Retold & Illustrated by: Tomie dePaola
Narrator: Harold Littlebird 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1991.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Florence and Eric Take the Cake

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Florence and Eric Take the Cake | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

This story is about a brother and sister lamb who accidentally cause a major mix-up between a delicious cake and a beautiful hat. This spirited book sets the stage for LeVar to take a trip to the Movie Land Wax Museum where he learns how wax figures are made. Viewers also see how some talented bakers are able to make a cake look like a basketball, a cheeseburger, a sports car or just about anything.

Author & Illustrator: Jocelyn Wild
Narrator: Julia Child

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1990.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Little Nino's Pizzeria 

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Little Nino's Pizzeria | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Tony loves helping his dad make pizza at their family restaurant until his dad decides to open a fancy new restaurant and everything changes. Teamwork, especially working together as a family, can be very rewarding. A family that works together in the fireworks business is interviewed. This book also inspires LeVar to make his own pizza. He explains how yeast works, shapes the dough, and tops it, not knowing that additional guests (an entire basketball team) would require him to order out!

Author & Illustrator: Karen Barbour 
Narrator: Josh Saviano 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1990.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

An African tale of Mufaro’s two beautiful daughters – one bad tempered, one kind and sweet – who go before the king who is choosing a wife. Viewers celebrate the culture of Africa in New York City’s Central Park where LeVar learns how African drums are made, then plays some authentic African instruments. He joins in the festival fun with an African dance troupe, Forces of Nature.
 
Author & Illustrator: John Steptoe 
Narrator: Phylicia Rashad 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1989.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Mummies Made in Egypt 

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Mummies Made in Egypt | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

This book describes the techniques and the reasons for the use of mummification in ancient Egypt. LeVar visits the Museum of Fine Arts Boston where the art of conserving Egyptian artifacts is explored. Through the use of CAT scan technology, viewers also see what a mummy looks like after thousands of years.

Author & Illustrator: Aliki 
Narrator: Corinne Orr 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1989.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

The Paper Crane

Reading Rainbow (Official)

The Paper Crane | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

A mysterious man enters a restaurant and pays for his dinner with a paper crane that magically comes alive and dances. LeVar celebrates Japanese culture by visiting Gasho of Japan in Central Valley, New York. Surrounded by lush gardens, LeVar dons a kimono and steps into the enchanting world of Japan, exploring the artistry of a Japanese vegetable carver and the art of origami. He takes a side trip to see how paper can be made from old blue jeans, then joins Soh Daiko, an energetic and colorful group of Japanese drummers and dancers, as they perform the celebratory ""festival of the drums.

Author & Illustrator: Molly Bang 
Narrator: Keye Luke 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1986.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Abiyoyo

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Abiyoyo | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Folk singer and storyteller Pete Seeger performs this story song based on a South African lullaby and folk story, in which a boy and his father come up with a plan to save the townspeople from the giant, Abiyoyo. LeVar reveals some of the ways a story can be told with music, including an upbeat music video, a rap music performance by the group Run DMC, a professional dance group’s interpretation of “Beauty and the Beast,” and computer animation accompanied by music. 

Author: Pete Seeger 
Illustrator: Michael Hays 
Narrator: Pete Seeger

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1986.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Germs Make Me Sick!

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Germs Make Me Sick! | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Our world is shared with millions of microorganisms. In this feature book they explain what germs are, how bacteria and viruses affect the human body, and how the body fights against them. Using a microscope LeVar discovers what germs really look like and talks to lab scientists about germs, and habits that can keep us healthy. A visit to an organic farm illustrates how microorganisms are important to growing food.
 
Author: Melvin Berger 
Illustrator: Marylin Hafner 
Narrator: Molly Mandlin 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1986.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Hill of Fire

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Hill of Fire | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Based on a true story of the eruption of Paricutin Volcano in Mexico, a volcano is born in a poor farmer’s corn field. At Volcano National Park in Hawaii, LeVar is only 2,000 feet from a major eruption of Kilauea Volcano. He tells about two kinds of lava and why volcanoes occur. Viewers learn what is inside Earth that causes volcanoes, as LeVar talks to volcanologists who are learning to predict eruptions. LeVar also visits an artist who creates raku pottery. 

Author: Thomas P. Lewis
Illustrator: Joan Sandin
Narrator: Fernando Escandon 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1985.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

The Patchwork Quilt

Reading Rainbow (Official)

The Patchwork Quilt | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Using scraps cut from the family’s old clothing, a young girl learns the secret ingredient in her grandma’s special quilt of memories. This episode leads LeVar to the Boston Children’s Museum, where he discovers kids learning to make their own brightly colored patchwork quilts. Then he explores how three generations of an Italian American family work together in their food store making some of the foods that are store specialties. 
Author: Valerie Flournoy 
Illustrator: Jerry Pinkney 
Narrator: Isabel Sanford 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1985.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Liang and the Magic Paintbrush

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Liang and the Magic Paintbrush | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

Taken from an old Chinese legend, a poor boy who longs to paint is given a magic paintbrush that brings everything he paints to life. LeVar explores how art is integrated into many aspects of the Chinese-American culture. He takes a trip to New York City’s Chinatown and visits with an expert in Chinese calligraphy, a stone carver who makes LeVar a name stamp, and a gourmet Chinese chef. He also takes viewers to the New York Institute of Technology where he is shown how to use computer graphics to create art. Then he participates in a Chinese parade.

Author & Illustrator: Demi 
Narrator: Lauren Tom 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1983.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Digging Up Dinosaurs

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Digging Up Dinosaurs | Reading Rainbow Complete Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

How dinosaurs evolved, lived and disappeared over 65 million years ago are still intriguing scientists. LeVar seeks a place where archaeologists retrieve dinosaur bones.

This book introduces readers to many types of dinosaurs whose skeletons are seen in museums, and explains how scientists uncover, preserve, and study fossils. LeVar explores our fascination with dinosaurs that lived and then disappeared millions of years ago. Dinosaur riddles are interspersed among interviews with a ranger and a paleontologist who take LeVar on a fossil tour of Dinosaur National Monument.
Author & Illustrator: Aliki 
Narrator: Linda Gelman 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1983.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel. 

Activities and Educational Resources

Tight Times

Reading Rainbow (Official)

Tight Times| Reading Rainbow Full Episode | 40th Anniversary Celebration

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.

This is a touching story of a boy who wants a pet when his family is having financial trouble and must hold the line on expenses. LeVar visits a pet show and discovers all kinds of unusual pets, including pet rocks. He explains that even during “tight times” there are all kinds of ways to have fun -- and that working together and using imagination are what is important.  
Author: Barbara Shook Hazen
Illustrator: Trina Schart Hyman
Narrator: Patrick McCaffrey 

This episode of Reading Rainbow premiered on PBS in 1983.

We are celebrating Reading Rainbow's 40th anniversary with the release of 40 full episodes of the classic PBS children's series. Look for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday through February 2024 on the Reading Rainbow YouTube Channel.

Activities and Educational Resources