Thursday, August 6, 2015

Share the love of reading with your children: Reading Rainbow DVD and SKYBRARY App Review

Disclosure: I received a copy of the DVD and a 6 month subscription to the SKYBRARY app so that we could share our review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% honest and my own. 

"Take a look, it's in a book, a Reading Rainbow!"

I spent hours and hours watching Reading Rainbow as a kid. It was one of my favorite shows and I still remember getting excited to go to the library to check out the books I discovered with LeVar Burton on the show. The show ran for 26 years and made a huge impact on my generation. Recently, Burton created a Kickstarter to create a new Reading Rainbow app and raised over five million dollars in one month! PBS recently sent us a copy of a Reading Rainbow DVD called Animal Cafe and gave us a subscription to try out the new app and I couldn't wait to share this amazing series with my kids.

Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe features 4 episodes that take kids on a fun filled learning adventure through books. Grace wasn't sure why I made her sit down to watch the DVD as soon as it arrived but she was quickly drawn in to the Animal Cafe episode. I will say that the peek back into 80s and 90s culture and fashion is pretty amusing now. The environment certainly feels dated but what I love about this show is that the books featured are timeless. Grace enjoyed the book sections more than the people profiles and lessons but she is still a bit young. Honestly, I enjoyed the glimpse back into my childhood and am excited to watch as many episodes as I can find! She asked to find Animal Cafe at the library and I happily obliged later that day. This DVD retails for only $6.99 and is available at Target and other retailers now.

The SKYBRARY app provides access to children's books and videos to promote children's curiosity and sense of adventure. It gives kids access to over 500 books and 150 video field trips including behind the scenes looks at places such as the White House, the Los Angeles Ballet, the Grand Canyon and Cirque du Soleil. Kids can "Go Anywhere, Be Anything" with just the touch of a button!

Kids are encouraged to explore with an easy to use navigation screen. SKYBRARY features 7 different islands to choose from. Made for kids ages 2-9, I appreciate that kids don't have to be able to read to use the app. SKYBRARY has quickly become Grace's favorite app. She likes to come in to our room early in the morning before I wake up and take the iPad to her room. Most mornings I walk into her room to find her listening to books on the app or watching one of the many great field trip videos.

It took her a bit to figure out the process of downloading books in her backpack in the app but after a few times of me demonstrating it, she is now totally independent with it. She loves discovering the interactive parts in each book while the app reads the story to her. As the kids get older, they can choose to read the books themselves  I appreciate that the app allows you to create up to 5 different profiles so each child can have their own backpack full of books to read.

SKYBRARY is available now at and offers a 14-day free trial with unlimited access to the complete digital library of books and videos. After the trial period ends, subscription plans are available. A one month subscription costs $9.99 but you can buy a full year subscription for $49.99. This would be the perfect gift for the elementary school aged child in your life. Share the love of reading with your child now with Reading Rainbow! 

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