There have always been shows to teach kids about phonics and letters and numbers and simple words. Sesame Street is like the epitome of these types of shows. But there was never a show about books until LeVar Burton came along and had this brilliant idea to fix all that. Every episode had a “lesson”. Sometimes it would be about sports, sharing, family values, or even imaginary friends. Whatever the lesson, there would always be a featured book he’d read that was somehow related to it. And the even cooler feature was when kids would give out their book recommendations. It was like a kid’s book club or something. “Hey, if you liked what LeVar just read, you’ll definitely like these books, too!” And I would watch these and actually write some of those recommendations down so I could hunt them down at the library. Living in a household where books were, for the most part, scarce and having friends that really didn’t read, Reading Rainbow was the only show that catered to my interests. I didn’t have friends that were like, “Hey! Check out this book! It’s great!” They were busy listening to Hanson or Spice Girls. I was the one sitting in the corner, devouring The Secret Garden and Little House in the Big Woods while writing random
short stories flash fiction.
Having kids engaged to reading is just as important as having them interested in science. People read every day whether they realize it or not: advertising, magazines, emails, heck, you’re reading this right now. Will a child use science for the rest of their life? Maybe. But they’ll definitely use basic math and reading skills every day. So why not give them a book to keep their reading skills sharp? Then they’ll learn what happens if you give a mouse a cookie.