What It Is
The Reading Rainbow app continues the long-standing reputation of the television show to use the power of books to inspire kids to dream and learn.
Enter the app and navigate between the various thematic islands to explore an ever-expanding list of topics. Some of the islands include Awesome People, Adventures & Magical Tales, Animal Kingdom, and the latest island designed around National Geographic Kids. Each island has thematic books and videos available for your child to investigate. Swipe through the great variety of books available in each island and pick the ones that interest you to add to your backpack. Books are downloaded to your backpack for easy reading. Be aware that the downloading does go much faster with a wifi connection. The books in your backpack are then easy to grab and read. Each book gives kids the option to read by themselves or have the book read aloud. The books have some interactivity, but they are designed so you feel like you are still in a traditional book.
On the islands and from the main toolbar in the app, you'll find numerous videos to watch. These videos, many of which are lead by LeVar Burton, take kids on real-world adventures. Called "field trips", the videos are short and an excellent addition to the books found on each island.
Setting up the app includes an option to create multiple kid accounts and share with Reading Rainbow your child's age and interests. The information you share is used to make personalized recommendations for books your child might like to read. Parents can also review what their kids have been reading right inside the app.
There is plenty more to discover in the Reading Rainbow app. It is available for free so you can see what you are getting. If you want access to all the books, videos, and customization, you will need to enter into a one-month or six-month paid subscription.
Why It’s Fun
Parents who remember watching Reading Rainbow on TV will enjoy sharing that experience with their children through this app. There is a lot to explore aside from books, and the content is very engaging.
Who It’s For
The Reading Rainbow app is good for all ages.
What To Be Aware Of
Reading Rainbow is available on the iPad and requires iOS 5.0 or later. You will see Reading Rainbow available for the Kindle Fire and other platforms in the coming months.
The subscription service offers unlimited access to the library for just $9.99 a month or a value price of $29.99 for six months (less than $5 per month).