The classic children’s television show Reading Rainbow is now available to a new generation of readers in the form of an app for the iPad. Host and producer LeVar Burton announced yesterday the new venture for Reading Rainbow, which went off the air in 2009 after a 26-year run.
Designed for children ages 3-9, the subscription-based app delivers a library of hundreds of curated books and all new videos. From the dashboard of a hot air balloon, children can “travel” to themed islands, such as Animal Kingdom, My Friends, My Family, and Genius Academy, and find a variety of books and videos customized to their age and interests.
The app brings together books from numerous children’s publishers and follows a library model, allowing kids to borrow books five-at-a-time from the various themed islands. Each book comes alive with audio storytelling by celebrity actors, including Burton himself, and features light animations and related activities to enhance the story.
Similar to the original series, children journey with Burton on real-life adventures— video field trips—that connect the stories children read to the world. The app includes a combination of newly-produced videos and classic segments from the TV show.
For parents, ReadingRainbow.com will offer a companion dashboard to receive updates regarding time their child spent reading, books read, and suggestions for new stories based on their child’s interests. Parents will also receive discussion prompts and lessons based on the books children have explored.
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.
The Reading Rainbow app is free for download on the iPad and includes the ability to fully explore 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.
This post was originally written by Loren Moreno and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.