One of my all-time favorite television shows for children was the PBS series “Reading Rainbow,” with LeVar Burton and a bunch of kids talking about the books they loved.
It’s back, now as an app that encourages kids to read and provides them with access to e-versions of some of the best in children’s literature.
Designed for children 3-9 years of age, the App delivers a library of hundreds of curated books and all new videos presented in a world of adventure and discovery. Traveling to themed islands, such as Animal Kingdom, My Friends, My Family and Genius Academy, kids find a variety of books and videos customized to their age and interests. The App brings together books from numerous acclaimed children’s publishers. Each book comes alive with audio storytelling by celebrity actors, including spoken word Grammy winner Burton himself, and features light animations and related activities to enhance the story. Similar to the original series, children journey with Burton on exciting real-life adventures. These in-app video field trips connect the stories children read to the world they live in and use a combination of newly produced video as well as classic segments from the TV show.
The App’s many features include a reward system in which children earn digital stickers to motivate a continued exploration of books and frequent reading. For parents, ReadingRainbow.com offers a companion website and dashboard to get updates regarding time their child spent reading, books read and suggestions for new stories based on the child’s interests. “Family Reading Time” hints provide opportunities to discuss themes and lessons explored in each book.
At launch, the App will include 150 books and 16 video field trips. New content will be added to the service on a regular and frequent schedule expanding the library, themes and topics children can explore.
“We’re excited to offer a safe experience designed just for kids,” notes Asra Rasheed, RRKidz CEO. “We’ve created an easy-to-use subscription service for parents, allowing them to unlock the extensive Reading Rainbow library books and videos without the worry of approving and purchasing each item separately.” The Reading Rainbow App is free for download on the iPad and includes the ability to fully explore the App, the islands, videos and to select one book to read. The subscription is now available for a limited-time introductory price of $9.99 a month or $29.99 for six months at the App Store.