TV Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes

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Below is a complete Reading Rainbow episode list that spans the show's entire TV run. Photos from the individual Reading Rainbow episodes are listed along with the Reading Rainbow episode names when available, as are the dates of the original airing of the episode. Reading Rainbow episodes from every season can be seen below, along with fun facts about who directed the episodes, the stars of the and sometimes even information like shooting locations and original air dates. This poll features “The Biggest Test in the Universe,” “Max” and more. Are you remembering a funny scene but can't think of the name that the Reading Rainbow episode is from? Scroll below and you'll find what you're looking for.

1
Bea and Mr Jones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 1: LeVar is already worn out after working on several scenes all day long on the production of the series. He feels he needs to take on another identity, segueing into introducing the featured book, Bea and Mr. Jones. Madeline Kahn reads the book about a kindergarten student and her father who get so bored with their jobs that they decide to experiment by switching places for the day.

2
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 1: One thing leads to another in this episode, with LeVar in a bowling alley, showing how certain actions lead to consequences. Included is a piece on an expert at domino displays and domino art. Beth Howland reads "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," the tale of a little boy who offers a cookie to a mouse, and all the events that occur afterwards as a result.

3
Digging Up Dinosaurs is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 6 Episode 5: What is with this unfunny dinosaur, thinking he can do stand-up comedy on a dinosaur (of a) program? Technically not the first science-related show in its history, LeVar seeks a place where archaeologists retrieve dinosaur bones. Linda Gilman reads Digging Up Dinosaurs, a story about how paleontologists unearth dinosaurs skeletons and preserve them in museum exhibits.

4
Two Old Potatoes and Me is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 2: Jordan Puryear reads "Two Old Potatoes and Me," about a girl who works with her father to recycle two rotted potatoes by replanting them using the sprouts to grow a whole new crop of potatoes. LeVar, working with his daughter, is inspired to make potato dishes from recipes in the book.

5
Owen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 3: It's easy to get flashbacks while watching Reading Rainbow. Now it's LeVar's turn, as he gets in touch with visions of "his boyhood." Matthew Broderick reads "Owen," about a little mouse who's very attached to his security blanket and doesn't want to give it up, even if it means he will be teased when he starts school.

6
Ty's One-man Band is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 3: LeVar is ready to find music everywhere, and he does. This show includes the animation Onomatopoeia. Lou Rawls reads the story of Ty's One-Man Band, about a man who teaches a boy how to make music using household items.

7
Hot-Air Henry is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 6 Episode 15: LeVar goes to South Carolina to ride a hot-air balloon. In another study of how air travel has advanced, schoolchildren visit the Space Camp for Aspiring Young Astronauts. William Windom reads the story of Hot-Air Henry, the misadventures of a cat who sneaks on board his family's hot air balloon and how he gets back down again.

8
Mr. George Baker is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 4: Wayne Brady narrates the story of an elderly man who decides to go back to school to learn to read, even though he is almost 100, and his relationship with his young neighbor as they wait for the bus every day.

9
Alistair In Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 5: LeVar checks out the Library of Congress. Among the activities shown: how a book is delivered to the front desk, the vast film library, and how damaged books are repaired. Arnold Stang reads Alistair in Outer Space, a story about a young boy that is so dedicated to returning library books on time that he doesn't even let getting abducted by space aliens stop him.

10
Feelings is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 7 Episode 4: LeVar seems to have a lot of things going wrong for him as he spends a day in the park, causing lots of different emotions. In an animated feature, a group of school children read poems about feelings and how to deal with situations.

11
Watch The Stars Come Out is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 7: Videotaped at Ellis Island in 1985, this show is truly American or, more correctly, a salute to all those who immigrated to America. Laura Haymann reads Watch the Stars Come Out, a true story about a young boy and girl who ride a boat from their native country to New York in order to join their parents and older sister, who emigrated to the United States earlier and sent for them.

12
The Life Cycle Of The Honeybee is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 8: LeVar visits a beehive to look into beekeeping and how honey is made. Barbara Feldon narrates The Life Cycle of the Honeybee, which goes into detail about how bees make hives in natural habitats such as trees.

13
Best Friends is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 7 Episode 18: The best of friends are those whose friendships endure everything. And it extends to all walks of life, particularly to dogs. Liza Siegler reads the story of two girls who are best friends, but their relationship is strained when one girl goes on a vacation with relatives and the other girl feels lonely and neglected, until a new neighbor moves in and asks her to help him look after his dog.

14
Bugs is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 8 Episode 1: With microorganisms under his belt, LeVar now goes on the lookout for insects.

15
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughte... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 8 Episode 8: LeVar celebrates the culture of Africa in New York City's Central Park where he learns how African drums are made. Phylicia Rashad narrates Mufaro's Beautiful Dauters, an African tale about a villager who has two beautiful daughters with completely different personalities. Mufaro presents his daughters to the king who is looking for a wife.

16
Florence and Eric Take The Cak... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 12: LeVar visits a famed wax sculpture museum, where an expert wax artist makes a statue of him. Julia child reads the story of two children helping their grandmother plan a party, and how they accidentally mistake a fancy decorated hat for a cake decorated in the same way.

17
Alistairs Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 13: LeVar goes to a totally-fictitious spot to find inventors from all eras. True to form, these inventors come from the distant past, Reading Rainbow's near-present, and the future. Arnold Stang narrates Alistair's Time Machine, the story of a boy who invents a machine that takes him centuries back in time.

18
Nosey Mrs. Rat is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 10 Episode 7: Observing people is the theme of the day, as LeVar finds himself with time to kill before a business meeting and chooses to watch children at a playground while he waits. Dr. Jane Goddall talks about her work with the chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe National Park, and Faith Prince narrates the episode's story.

19
Borreguita and The Coyote is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 15: LeVar spends the day in a barrio in East Los Angeles studying Mexican culture as he visits friends who make their own guitars, eats some traditional food, and discusses the cultural differences that are practiced in both Mexico and the US. Olga Merediz reads Borreguita and the Coyote, the tale of a clever lamb who continually outsmarts a coyote determined to eat her.

20
On The Day You Were Born is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 16: How babies are born is explored, in great detail, in this episode, as a family welcoming their fourth child is profiled during the last few weeks before delivery. Patrick Stewart reads a poem about how special each person is when they come into the world, and how every birth should be celebrated.

21
My Life With The Wave is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 17: Scott Irby Ranier tells a tale of a boy who is followed home by a wave of water after a vacation at the beach, and how he and his family must convince the wave it is better off living in the ocean than in his bathtub.

22
Saturday Sancocho is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 11 Episode 12: The art of bartering is the topic as Levar Burton introduces the book "Saturday Sancocho". When Maria's family can't afford sancocho, she and her mother figure out a way to trade eggs for the ingredients they need for chicken sancocho. A little boy named Jimmy learns the value of a dollar by trading Baseball cards. Levar Burton goes to an auction to learn how objects are valued.

23
When Aunt Lena Did The Rhumba is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 19: LeVar explores Broadway as he looks at live entertainment options. Lucie Arnaz reads the feature story, about a young girl who decides to put on a show for her aunt, who usually treats her to Broadway play matinees, but now Aunt Lena is laid up in bed following a fall, and she gets depressed because she's missing her stories.

24
The Shamans Apprentice is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 20: LeVar visits the Amazon rain forest to meet the real people profiled in today's featured book, a story about how a young man was chosen to follow around his tribe's medicine man to learn all the natural methods of treating injuries and illness using plants of the rain forest.

25
Lemonade For Sale is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 21: LeVar explores way that young people can earn money before they're old enough for official jobs in this show. Andrea McArdle reads the feature story of a group of kids who decide to run a lemonade drink stand to raise money to make repairs to their clubhouse, and how a new neighbor helps them drum up business.

26
The Secret Shortcut is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 11 Episode 17: As we learn in "The Secret Shortcut," shortcuts may get you to where you are going faster, but if you get lost you should have some experience in orienteering. Lavar takes an orienteering course in Central Park and later we get an inside tour of the new Primate Reserve at the Philadelphia Zoo.

27
Badgers Parting Gifts is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 23: LeVar discusses cathartic ways to adjust to losing a loved one in this episode. He and fellow viewers talk about family members that are now gone that they miss, and how they try to remember the good times rather than dwell on the pain. Ruby Dee reads the featured story about an aging Badger, who knows he doesn't have much longer to live and tries to prepare his friends for his passing.

28
Enemy Pie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 12 Episode 1: LeVar observes activity in a playground to see how people do and don't get along with each other. Ed Harris reads Enemy Pie, a story about a boy who dislikes one of his new classmates, and how his father helps bring the two boys to start a friendship by making a secret recipe Enemy Pie.

29
Boxes For Katje is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 1 Episode 25: LeVar profiles Children For Children, a New York based youth organization that creates care packages for relief to children affected by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Elizabeth Jute reads a story about a US penpal who sends care packages to her friend in war-torn Holland after WWII.

30
Animal Café is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 2 Episode 1: LeVar goes to a 24-hour diner and profiles people who have occupations in the evening and early morning hours. In a separate story, a man ventures into a cave to see bats and other nocturnal animals. Martin Short narrates the story of "Animal Cafe," about a cat and dog who operate a third shift restaurant for all the animals in their neighborhood while keeping it a secret from their human owner.

31
The Tortoise and the Hare is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 2 Episode 2: LeVar has entered a bicycle race. He's in competition not just with the other bikers, but with himself as well. This program also includes a lengthy piece on a karate class. Comedienne Gilda Radner reads the Aesop's tale of "The Tortoise and the Hare," about an arrogant rabbit that's over confident that he can beat a determined turtle in a foot race.

32
Ludlow Laughs is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 2 Episode 3: LeVar is assigned a comedy makeover to learn more about comedy. Phillis Diller narrates "Ludlow Laughs," a tale about a man who never smiled at all until one strange night when he started to laugh out loud.

33
Giving Thanks: A Native Americ... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 2 Episode 4: LeVar discusses how people show gratitude for kind acts and how we can repay each other in acts of kindness to spread good will in the world. Nicholson Earl Billey reads the featured story, a poem of greeting that Native Americans say each day to bless the earth and pray for all the gifts they have been given by respecting the planet.

34
The Tin Forest is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 3 Episode 1: LeVar visits a school in New York City to ask the class how they have coped since the past year when the World Trade Center was destroyed nearby and they had to evacuate and some children lost family members. Jeff Bridges reads the story of The Tin Forest, about a lonely man who builds a metal forest of trees and animals in hopes of attracting real animals to ease his sadness

35
Miss Nelson is Back is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 3 Episode 2: As part of his birthday celebration, LeVar gets made-up like a movie monster, and then gets involved in Harry Blackstone's magic act. Ruth Buzzi reads Miss Nelson Is Back, all about a group of rowdy students who try to take advantage of their teacher's absence when she's out sick one day, and how she gets revenge on them by pretending to be "the meanest teacher in the world, Viola Swamp."

36
Pet Stories: You Don't Hav... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 3 Episode 3: "Pet Stories You Don't Have to Walk", read by Jason Alexander, features stories about pets. LeVar Burton throws a birthday party for his golden retriever, Roy, and treats the dog to a bath at a pet spa for his special day.

37
How to Make An Apple Pie and S... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 3 Episode 4: LeVar and a friend say following recipes and cooking foods are very much like science experiments. They work on recipes which include lasagna made with rice, a marinara sauce, and apple raisin muffins. Helen Mirren reads How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, a tale of a lady who goes to elaborate lengths to get all the ingredients to make a pie after she finds her local grocery store closed.

38
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 3 Episode 5: Music and orchestras are profiled in this tuneful show. The episode soon gets rhythmic when LeVar introduces the viewers to the theatrical percussion group, Stomp. Gregory Hines reads Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin, a counting story that mentions all the different types of instruments that are played in bands and orchestras and the kinds of groups they make based on many play at once.

39
Barn Dance is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 3 Episode 6: LeVar is in Tennessee where he is going to a barn dance. Along the way, he meets the band who will be playing their Bluegrass music and meets a man who makes his own fiddles. At the barn, LeVar also learns a few dance steps for the big night Roy Clark narrates Barn Dance!, a story about a hoedown that is unlike any other.

40
My Shadow is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 4 Episode 1: In this episode of Reading Rainbow: Levar shows the kids how shadows and lights make up our everyday lives. Andrea Davis is featured as a photographer who shoots different parts of the city and develops the pictures in her own studio. Also, the children review the books SHADOWS AND REFLECTIONS I HAVE A FRIEND and SHADOW GRAPHS.

41
Sports Pages is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 4 Episode 2: Levar Burton works out in a gym and talks about the determination it takes to succeed in sports. Burton narrates two poems from "Sports Pages" by Arnold Adoff. Burton visits with a young Olympic gymnast who talks about the preparation she must go through before competition. Burton talks to a brother-sister figure skating team, the skaters show how hard they must work to achieve their goals.

42
Mama Don't Allow is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 4 Episode 3: LeVar shows how music can help interpret a situation, from meeting alligators in a Louisiana swamp to joining a party on a Mississippi riverboat. Fred Newman narrates the story of Mama Don't Allow, about how a young musician starts his own swamp band with his friends. Viewers are then treated to a recording session with Fred Newman as he makes up all the sound effects for the book.

43
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 4 Episode 4: LeVar travels to an old west town made to look like life in the 1880's to see how times have changed in the last 100 years. He explores how cowboys lived and traveled, and he also shows how stunt riders practice tricks on their horses for western movies. Hoyt Axton reads the featured book, a story told in comparisons about a rancher who decides to spend the day in a town 84 miles from home.

44
Little Nino's Pizzeria is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 4 Episode 5: LeVar takes a shot at making his own pizza. He gets the yeast right, but he underestimates just about everything else. (That includes the volume of "vox pops" shots.) Josh Saviano reads Little Nino's Pizzeria, a story about a boy who works with his father at a neighborhood pizzeria when one day his father closes it up to work at a more fancy restaurant.

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Is This a House for a Hermit C... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 4 Episode 6: LeVar sets out to build a bird house, prompting an examination of animal habitats. Eartha Kitt reads the story of a growing hermit crab, who is now too large for his current shell, and all the difficulties he has trying to find a new place to live, all the while trying to avoid predators who want to eat him.

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The Piggy in the Puddle is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 5 Episode 1: This episode of READING RAINBOW, "Piggy in the Puddle," features a look at the art of claymation and the joys of mud. Claymation artists Becky and Cody introduce host LeVar Burton to the art of claymation and create a claymation interpretation of Charlotte Pomerantz's PIGGIE IN THE PUDDLE.

47
Summer is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 5 Episode 2: In this episode of Reading Rainbow, Levar shows the kids the different sights and sounds of Summer. The different wildlife of Summer, and how they live. Also, there are segments on the different seasons and how they effect different parts of the country. The featured book is "Summers" written by Ron Hirschi, and read by Ossie Davis.

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Tar Beach is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 5 Episode 3: LeVar's presence looms over New York once again, this time literally. He's taken to the roof of one of the nondescript skyscrapers, very close to the bridge mentioned in the featured book, Tar Beach.

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The Wonderful Tower of Watts is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 5 Episode 4: In this episode of "Reading Rainbow," Levar takes a wonderful and fascinating look at the Watts Towers, a landmark in southern California. He goes into the neighborhood and talks to the residents about what the city means to them and how it can be improved. The book "Wonderful Towers of Watts," written by Patricia Zelver and read by Angela Bassett, tells the story about how the towers were built.

50
Perfect the Pig is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Full List of Reading Rainbow Episodes
Season 5 Episode 5: LeVar visits a pig farm in Hawaii to find out why pigs are so popular. He also interviews Kermit the Frog to ask him about his famous girlfriend, Miss Piggy.James Coco reads the story of Perfect the Pig, about a little runt pig who makes a wish to have wings in order to be special, and how he found a special person to be his friend and companion.