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.
Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
Bea and Mr Jones
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.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
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.
Digging Up Dinosaurs
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.
Two Old Potatoes and Me
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.
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.
Ty's One-man Band
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.
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.
Mr. George Baker
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.
Alistair In Outer Space
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.
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.
Watch The Stars Come Out
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.
The Life Cycle Of The Honeybee
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.
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.
Season 8 Episode 1: With microorganisms under his belt, LeVar now goes on the lookout for insects.
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
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.
Florence and Eric Take The Cake
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.
Alistairs Time Machine
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.
Nosey Mrs. Rat
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.
Borreguita and The Coyote
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.
On The Day You Were Born
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.
My Life With The Wave
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.
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.
When Aunt Lena Did The Rhumba
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.
The Shamans Apprentice
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.
Lemonade For Sale
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.