Monday, August 31, 2009

The end of the Rainbow

Last week marked the end of an era. After 26 years on television, the final episode of Reading Rainbow aired on PBS. Now truthfully, I didn't even know this show was still on the air. Nevertheless, hearing this news mad me a little sad and very nostalgic. And when I heard the show’s theme song, childhood memories flooded back. If you're in my generation, you'll know what I mean when you watch this:

I don't know why books were so much cooler when they were read on TV, but I used to love going to the library in search of the books that were featured on RR. And obviously, LeVar Burton rocked (but more so on this show than he did on Star Trek with the visor thing that I always thought looked like the banana clips we wore in our hair back then).

I guess RR is not being funded any longer because it doesn’t focus on teaching kids HOW to read. But, I think there’s something to be said about a show that teaches kids WHY reading is fun. Although it has been a long time since I've read a children's book, I still love to read, and I'll go ahead and give RR a little credit.

Anyway, someday I may end up with RR DVDs and force them on my children, who will think the show is completely old fashioned. In the meantime...what do you think was the best children’s book ever? “Take a look, it’s in a book…”


  1. I have to say two children's books stand out in my memory, one from my childhood and one from reading to my kids. The one from my childhood is one of the best children's books ever in my estimation, Harold and the Purple Crayon. I loved the way he could just move in and out of the real world, and just make what he needed. I remember just being in awe of the power of Harold. The one from my children's childhood is a classic, The Cat in the Hat. My kids both LOVED that book and Krista and I could recite most all of it from memory. "It was to wet to go out, it was too cold to play ball, so we just sat in the house and did nothing at all. All we could do was to sit...sit...sit...sit, and we did not like it, not one little bit." I still like that book.

  2. Also, I have to mention Where the Wild Things Are and The Giving Tree. Both of these books are top notch.

  3. I too was sad and a bit disappointed when I heard this an educator, parent, and former viewer of the program. I totally agree with you Jenny about teaching children WHY reading is fun!

    Also, two of my favorite, if I had to narrow it down, would be The Very Hungry Caterpillar and I'll Love you Forever

  4. I like the purple crayon book too, although I don't remember reading it until after college when my roommate (a teacher) had it. I was never a big Dr. Suess fan when I was little. I had a good collection of Little Golden Books though, I think they were my favs.