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Reading Rainbow launches new iPad app


Reading Rainbow is back - but not on TV.

Host LeVar Burton has revived the popular franchise, which ran for 26 years on PBS, as an app for tablets.

The medium may be different, but the mission is the same: promoting children's literature.

"Television is a one way medium," Burton says. "You are presenting your finished product to an audience and they absorb it.

"The great thing about an app is that it is designed to be an interactive experience."

Users of the app, called RRKidz, travel on a virtual hot air balloon between themed islands - like "Magical Tales" and "Animal Kingdom." There, they can read one of 150 children's books, which, like the TV show, are introduced by mini field trips with Burton.

"LeVar gives you some backstage to some real world experience that is tied to literature," Burton says, in the third person. "So LeVar is all up in the app, so to speak."

The app will feature classic clips from the show. But Burton will also film new segments and add books every month.


For more on this story and others by the Innovation Trail and Daniel Robison, visit the Innovation Trail website.

The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between five upstate New York public media outlets. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), helps the public gain a better understanding of the connection between technological breakthroughs and the revitalization of the upstate New York economy.