Reading Rainbow lives again in iPad app
Were you in mourning when the “Reading Rainbow” TV show called it quits in 2009 after 26 years of service? You and your kids can now delight in RR’s return as a iPad app/subscription service.
Hosted, as was the TV show, by LeVar Burton, the iPad app offers access to hundreds of children’s books. There’s the option to read or have the story read to you.
Lots of the colorfully illustrated stories also feature hotspots you tap to animate. This morning, I had “Hello Baby Beluga” waving his fin, disappearing and reappearing at different spots in the ocean.
When first opened, the app asks your child’s age and sex and requests you pick “3 things you like” from categories like Wizards & Fairies, Animals, Sports and Space and Beyond. That leads to a screen populated with several floating islands. Tap on one — Action Adventure & Magical Tales, Animal Kingdom, My Friends My Family — to summon book selections fine-tuned to the user’s reading level and interest, plus related videos hosted by Burton.
Reading a book to completion earns electronic stickers. Selections can be stashed in a virtual book bag or returned through an on-screen slot.
To lure us in, the app download is free. So, too, is one book of your choice and a bunch of the short video clips. After that, access to the site costs $9.99 a month — less than many children’s books go for these days.