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Reading Rainbow

Reading RainbowNetwork: PBS
Episodes: 155 (half-hour)
Seasons: 21

TV show dates: June 6, 1983 – November 10, 2006
Series status: Cancelled/ended

Performers include: LeVar Burton (host).

reading rainbow past TV show

TV show description:
A PBS series inspired by Paul Hafer Schupbach, this Emmy Award-winning and Peabody Award-winning show encourages children to read. Schupbach was the founding director of the Great Plains National Instructional Television Library at University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and also taught speech and radio classes.

Each episode centers on a singular theme from a book or other type of children’s literature. It’s then explored throughout the episode in stories and different segments. The episode also provides book recommendations for kids when they visit the library with their class or parents.

The show is hosted by actor LeVar Burton, and books are usally narrated by well-known celebrities, such as Bill Cosby, Hulk Hogan, and Flavor Flav. Burton also interviews people that have some connection to the theme of the show.

As the final segment of each show, Burton reviews a book, then ends it with, “But you don’t have to take my word for it,” as it segues into kids giving book reviews.
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Series Finale

Episode 155 — Show Way
LeVar Burton and his family discover some items from earlier relatives. We then we meet a grandmother who inspires her grandson, family members, and others with her childhood memories of surviving the Holocaust during World War II.

Actress Diahann Carroll narrates Show Way, written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by
Hudson Talbott . The book chronicles Woodson’s family history, all the way back to her Great, Great, Great, Great Grandmother, who was a slave in the South. The tradition of sewing “Show Way” quilts were passed down to each generation. These quilts are secretly maps that are designed to help slaves escape to the north for freedom. The author’s relatives taught her to keep up with the love of quilting to retain her family history.

Books reviewed during the episode are The Kids’ Family Tree Book, written by Caroline Leavitt and illustrated by Ian Phillips; What a Family! by Rachel Isadora; and Seven Brave Women, written by Betsy Hearne and illustrated by Bethanne Andersen.
First aired: November 10, 2006.

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What happened next?

There hasn’t been any news of plans to revive the show.

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