Reading Rainbow host and producer LeVar Burton has launched a reading app designed especially for the iPad.
Designed for children three to nine, the app delivers hundreds of curated books and all new videos. As part of the app, users visit themed islands, such as Animal Kingdom, My Friends, My Family and Genius Academy, where they find books and videos customized to their age and interests. Each book comes alive with audio storytelling by celebrity actors, including spoken word Grammy winner Burton himself, and features light animations and related activities to enhance the story.
Similar to the original Reading Rainbow series, children journey with Burton on real-life adventures. These in-app video field trips connect the stories children read to the world they live in and use a combination of newly produced video as well as classic segments from the TV show. The app includes a reward system in which children earn digital stickers to motivate frequent reading.
For parents, www.readingrainbow.com offers a companion website and dashboard to get updates regarding the time their child spends reading, books read and suggestions for new stories based on the child’s interests. Family Reading Time hints provide opportunities to discuss themes and lessons explored in each book.
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 app, the islands, videos and to select one book to read. The subscription is now available for an introductory price of US$9.99 a month or US$29.99 for six months at the app store.
The Reading Rainbow app is the inaugural project of RRKidz, a digital media company co-founded by Burton and entertainment veteran Mark Wolfe. RRKidz’ launch partners include Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Holiday House, Charlesbridge Publishing, Kane Press, Sleeping Bear Press, Peachtree Publishers and Shenanigan Books.