Reading Rainbow is back and now it’s digital, via a new iPad app. From this interview with LeVar Burton, Mark Wolfe, and Sangita Patel about the project:
PATEL: Oh, mobile? Okay. Well I think the reason that publishers were excited about Reading Rainbow is one, trusted brand, more importantly discovery. I think for publishers, even though you can go in the bookstore, when a child goes in a bookstore they are able to have an experience that they can’t really have anywhere on the Internet, or on devices now, because discovery of a book in the App Store is virtually impossible. There are so many out there —
WOLFE: Unless you know the title, right?
PATEL: Unless you know the title of the book. So what publishers found very interesting is, they said, “We do not have a discovery platform there, with curation”, and so LeVar, LeVar’s brand, the Reading Rainbow brand, was a perfect fit for them.
It’s funny–I never thought of Reading Rainbow as a curation project, but that makes a lot of sense. When my mom was a new mother, she didn’t know a lot about children’s books. So along with recommendations from our local librarians, things like Reading Rainhow were a great way for her to find us new books. And having an app means that children and parents can be introduced to new books at any given time of day.
WOLFE: …we were talking yesterday, the day before that stories, you know, start on cave paintings, then they wind up as heiroglyphics, and then they are written on papyrus, and eventually on sheep vellum, then trees, now here you go [points to iPad]. The device — the delivery of the device doesn’t make stories. It can help augment them in a certain way, but a good story’s a good story no matter whether it’s on papyrus, or electronic.
Amen to good stories. And just so you have it in your head for the rest of the day: