Never before have I wanted an iPad so badly! Reading Rainbow now has an App!! Yep, you heard me right! LeVar Burton is back with a fabulous new App that's available exclusively (for now anyways) for the iPad.
It wasn't long ago that I turned on PBS hoping to find a program for my 2-year old daughter Maggie to watch, only to discover that Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and Reading Rainbow were not on the line-up anymore. I was crushed! These were shows that meant so much to me growing up and I was looking forward to sharing them with my daughter. Thanks to the launch of this new App, I now have the chance to introduce Maggie to Reading Rainbow in a fun, exciting way!
I was lucky enough to be able to talk with LeVar Burton about his new app. I'm not kidding! We chatted on the phone for about 12 minutes--Yes, I'm still star-struck! First we talked about LeVar's new show, Perception (Catch it on Mondays 10/9c on TNT) and then we talked about his new Reading Rainbow App.
LeVar stated that when Reading Rainbow was taken off the air back in 2006 there was an outcry from parents who were disappointed that the show would not be around to share with a new generation of readers. That is when he and his business partner decided they would reinvent Reading Rainbow for the new digital age. When the iPad launched, it was then that Burton realized THAT was the future for Reading Rainbow. On June 20, 2012, the Reading Rainbow App was released for the iPad and became the #1 Educational App within 36 hours. The Reading Rainbow App allows children to read unlimited books, tag along with Burton on field trips, and earn rewards for reading.
It was clear from my chat with Mr. Burton that making reading fun for children (and therefore causing them to read more) is something he is very passionate about. He shared with my that one of his favorite children's authors is Shel Silverstein because of his ability to make children laugh. He also loves reading the book "Amazing Grace" (along with many others) to children.
The Reading Rainbow app launched with 150 different books, with more books being added each month. The app is free to download and you may choose 1 book (any book you'd like!) for free. After that, if you would like to read any and all of the other books in the library you'll need to purchase a subscription to the service. The cost for a one-month subscription is $9.99 or you can purchase a six-month subscription for just $29.99. Now I realize some of you might think, "well gosh, I'm not going to pay for a book subscription for my kids." What I'd like to ask you is, how many of you pay for cable television or Netflix every month? Wouldn't it be far more beneficial to your children to share with them books and instill in them a love of reading at an early age? I would be happy to pay $10 a month for a service like this for my daughter!
Maybe you are like me and don't have an iPad. LeVar told me that they are working on making this app available on other devices in the future, but keep in mind that a tablet device is the ideal way for a young child to experience all of the wonderful features of this app.
I have never before cared about having a tablet. I have a laptop and my iTouch and that was good enough for me. Now that I know about this App, I REALLY want to get a tablet, for my daughter's sake. It would be great to be able to hand her my iPad for trips in the car, so she could read books on a long trip, rather than watch cartoons. You can find out more about this awesome new app by going to www.readingrainbow.com.
Want to listen to my entire interview with LeVar Burton? Just click on the YouTube video below. I apologize that the audio isn't the best and please, be easy on my interviewing skills. Not only was this my first interview with someone I've been a fan of since early childhood, I also had my husband in the background geeking out on me because I was talking to "Geordi La Forge!"
One lucky Thrifty Nifty Mommy reader will also win a year's subscription to the Reading Rainbow app! If you'd like a chance to win, just fill out the easy entry form below. Good luck!
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