by Tommy Ly
June 20, 2012
Reading Rainbow, a popular children's television series that ran from 1983 to 2006, is now back as an iPad app. The original Reading Rainbow series encouraged children to read, while providing reviews of books, as well as book recommendations. Like the original series, actor LeVar Burton ("Star Trek") "hosts" the app, which is geared towards children between 3-9 years old. Children will travel to a series of themed islands to discover quality fiction and non-fiction books. Each book comes to life with audio storytelling by different celebrity actors, including Burton himself. Each story features light, interactive animations and activities to enhance the experience. Of course, the ability to have your child read on their own is there, too. Reading Rainbow features over 150 interactive books. Frequent updates are promised to expand the library. Sixteen video "field trips" are initially available, with many more to come. For parents, there is a special dashboard to view your child's reading progress. While new users may select a single book and view introductory videos for free, the app will be subscription-based. You can choose between a recurring subscription for $9.99 a month, or a six-month recurring subscription for $29.99. Unfortunately, the original theme song doesn't play whenever the app is launched, so we're including it here. Try your best to avoid a nostalgia-induced seizure: Reading Rainbow is available for free in the App Store. Will you introduce your children to the magic of Reading Rainbow?