Reading Rainbow came to Netflix on August 1st, and our social feeds EXPLODED with excitement, with shout-outs to favorite episodes, with theme song sing-alongs, and especially with stories of parents sitting down to share a beloved memory from childhood with their own kids. I’m not ashamed to tell you that these outpourings of love have brought us to tears a few times.
Reading Rainbow has always been an advocate for reading, and for helping children find a way to a love of books, but what we’re seeing now is Reading Rainbow as a way for parents to connect with their kids and share a formative piece of their childhood with the next generation. From what we hear from YOU, our Reading Rainbow family members out there, watching the classic episodes together has provided opportunities for families to go bowling together, to talk about pets, to sing together, and especially to READ together!
The truth is, books have ALWAYS been a way to connect generations. Carl Sagan said that “to read is to voyage through time.” This can mean traveling back to ancient Greece in Homer’s Odyssey, connecting with your 5 year old when you read Where the Wild Things Are together, or it can mean seeing the world through your 14 year old’s eyes when you borrow her copy of The Fault In Our Stars. However you look at it, sharing books means sharing ideas.
Sharing our favorite books, music, movies, and TV shows from our past can bridge the gap between parents and children, or grandparents and children. These shared references create a common cultural foundation, and provide a jumping-off point for conversation that you can’t get any other way. In addition to watching classic episodes of Reading Rainbow, listed below are a few timeless books you probably remember from your childhood that we’re sure your kids will love too! (We know there are many, many more that aren’t on this list. These are just a jumping off point. Please feel free to leave YOUR favorites in the comments!) But don’t forget that sharing goes both ways; ask your child to share one of his or her favorite books by an author you may not have heard of before.
Happy reading… together.
- The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
- Little Red Riding Hood retold and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman–> **Available in Reading Rainbow Skybrary
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola–> **Available in Reading Rainbow Skybrary
- Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
- Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien