Take a look. It’s in a book. It’s friggin’ Reading Rainbow and it’s back. Kinda. This week the wonderful people who brought you Reading Rainbow launched the website Skybrary, which features almost everything nine-year-old you loved about the television show.
You remember Reading Rainbow – it was the PBS program that shaped your youth and your love of reading. It’s also how you discovered your love of the smooth vocal stylings of LeVar Burton. It launched in 1983 and and lasted 26 seasons, ensuring its place in the heart of all hipster glasses-wearing millennials.
Even when the show was pulled off the air in 2009, Burton refused to give up on the 'bow. He bought the digital rights and promised he’d be back. In June of 2012, he launched an extremely successful Reading Rainbow app. And last May, he started a crowdfunding site on Kickstarter which raised a whopping $5.4 million dollars. Sure, as twenty-something I refuse to buy a car or a house like a grownup. But a website where Mr. Burton promises to read to me – where is my checkbook?
Skybrary is more than a throwback to the television series that inspired it. The website hosts a library of more than 500 children’s books, activities and video field trips to, among other places, the Grand Canyon and the universe. There are also clips from the classic show because revisiting childhood is excellent.
It’s about the kids, guys, said Burton in a statement.
"Children who love to read have the greatest tool to reach their highest potential. Our determination to encourage the love of reading and learning in every child, everywhere is more steadfast now than ever before."
This is just the beginning. Burton also plans to launch a series of lesson plans and other teacher resources so kids can ride the Reading Rainbow at home and at school.
And because I know you already have the theme song stuck in your head, here you go: