Did you know that after a 26 year run, Reading Rainbow is no longer producing episodes? "Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high. Take a look, it's in a book, a reading rainbow" is no longer enchanting thousands of young children. The series, in case you never watched it, featured the reading of a children's book, a related adventure, and reccomendations of other books by child reviewers. The whole thing was wonderful for creating future bibliophiles. Apparently, it's no longer the educational mission of public television to encourage a love of reading, rather the focus of educational TV is supposed to be phonics and other reading skills (NPR story here). It's too bad we can't have both, but apparently the money is too tight to do anything but produce shows promoting basic literacy skills.
I can't fund Reading Rainbow, but Minnow and I can help share wonderful books and our love of reading. We've got thousands of books underfoot at our house, and when we want some variety, we just go to the public library and check out some more. So, why not make our own version of Reading Rainbow? We'll read the book, post it on youtube, have an adventure, document it here, and let Minnow recommend some of her other favorites. At least that's the plan. Below the fold, join us for our first adventure: Keiko Kasza's "A Mother for Choco."
Keiko Kasza's "A Mother for Choco" as read by SciWo and Minnow.
What a wonderful story. Family doesn't have to look alike to be filled with love. But what should we do for our adventure? Should we go to the zoo and see if we can find a bird like Choco? Mmmm, but I'm hungry. I know. Let's make an apple pie.
While I peeled and cut the apples, Minnow helped measure the apples and the sugar. After I unrolled the store-bought crust, Minnow ate the scraps and told me to make an apple picture in the crust. And the result came out picture perfect:
If you liked "A Mother for Choco," Minnow thinks you might also like "Corduroy" the tale of a bear, who needs a button and a family.
I strongly support future installments of SciWo's Storytime :)
What a wonderful idea, SW! I look forward to future episodes!
That's so sad about Reading Rainbow - I remember watching that as a child.
I have always been a bookworm, and remember when Reading Rainbow first aired - it was my 2nd-favorite PBS show (right after Mr. Rogers). I loved LeVar Burton on RR. I wish I had kids, if only to introduce them to great books. Have fun, SciWoman and Minnow - this is a great idea!
Hi Alice, we love this idea and have posted it on our site at
and if you like "Corduroy", you may also like "Umbrella (by Taro Yashima)", the story of a little girl who gets an umbrella as a present for her 3rd birthday :)
Oh no, no more Reading Rainbow! I hope I can get it on DVD. That's disappointing. What you described as their intentional shift towards literacy/phonics over love of reading is interesting and sad -- I suppose this is because of our increased emphasis on testing particular skills? But it seems to me that in order for a young person to really excel they need to learn some reasons to WANT to read, like a love of reading.
Anyway, I watched the video and loved it. More SciWo Storytime please! It was fantastic. Maybe you will be starting a meme...