PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing four episodes from READING RAINBOW on the new DVD “MISS NELSON IS BACK.” The four episodes and books featured in this DVD are “Miss Nelson Is Back,” read by Ruth Buzzi, “Our Big Home,” read by Naomi Judd, “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World,” read by Helen Mirren and “Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express,” read by Brian Dennehy.
This fun-filled DVD is chock-full of great kid friendly adventures. Join LeVar as he gets made-up like a movie monster, visits with a food scientist who is working to develop new ice cream flavors, learns all about trains from a railroad engineer, and participates in a magic act! In addition to going on these field trips, kids will learn cooking tips from a chef, uncover that things aren’t always what they seem, and watch LeVar visit the United Nations and explore ways children can help others both locally and across the world.
READING RAINBOW aired on PBS from 1983-2009. Hosted by LeVar Burton (“Roots,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Perception”) for its entire 26-year run, the program encouraged a love of literature in millions of children and garnered more than 200 awards, including 26 Emmys and a Peabody Award.
“MISS NELSON IS BACK” will be available on DVD January 12, 2016. The DVD run time is approximately 120 minutes and its SRP is $6.99. Additional details about the episodes included on this DVD are below.
“Miss Nelson Is Back” – Reader: Ruth Buzzi
Illusions appear in abundance in this episode. As part of his birthday celebration, LeVar gets made-up like a movie monster, and then gets involved in Harry Blackstone’s magic act. Ruth Buzzi reads “Miss Nelson Is Back,” all about a group of rowdy students who try to take advantage of their teacher’s absence when she’s out sick, and how she gets revenge on them by pretending to be “the meanest teacher in the world, Viola Swamp.”
“Our Big Home” – Reader: Naomi Judd
LeVar visits the United Nations building to learn more about how different countries of the world try to work together. Naomi Judd reads “Our Big Home,” a poem about how everything in the world is connected and how we all must work together to make it succeed.
“How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World” – Reader: Helen Mirren
LeVar and a friend point out that following recipes and cooking foods tend very much to be science experiments. They work on recipes which include lasagna made with rice, a marinara sauce, and apple raisin muffins. Helen Mirren reads “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World,” a tale about a lady who goes to elaborate lengths to get all the ingredients to make a pie after she finds her local grocery store closed.
“Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express” – Reader: Brian Dennehy
LeVar takes a train ride in this episode. Along the way, we learn about trains and how the transcontinental railroad came to be. Brian Dennehy narrates the true story of how a young teen named Kate Shelley saved the engineers of a train that crashed into a river when the bridge near her home collapsed, and how she got word to the nearest station to alert them to stop the express train.
Reading Rainbow was one of my favorite shows growing up, and I'm excited that I can still enjoy it with my children. In each show, Levar picks out a wonderful story and a celebrity read the books allowed. The book is brought to life with illustrations from the book. This set includes five episodes.
Our Big Home - This is a great poem that shows that it really is a small world.
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World - This is a cute story about a woman who travels the world to get the ingredients for her pie.
Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express - This was a wonderful true story about a teenager who saved the engineers when a train crashed.
There may not be any fancy animation in this show, but it has a classic quality that most kids shows lack in this day and age. It's fun and educational and a great way to bond with your kids.