Sunday, May 3, 2015

Arriving on DVD from PBS Distribution on May 12th -- "READING RAINBOW: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a screener copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.


First READING RAINBOW DVD from PBS Distribution, Available on May 12

I was able to experience another first with my girls this past weekend -- I introduced them to one of my favorite PBS shows growing up, READING RAINBOW.  Were a fan of this show and LeVar Burton growing up?  It is hard to find a child growing up in the 80's and 90's that wasn't glued to the television every time they heard "Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high..." start playing on the television.  Not only was the theme song catchy, but the host and stories he shared really made kids excited about picking up a book and reading it.  I remember seeing this show and asking my mom to take me to the public library for the first time, so that I could get my own library card and start taking out books for her to read with me. :-)

And, now 20+ years later, READING RAINBOW is still around and will be available soon on DVD from PBS Distribution for families to enjoy together. This upcoming DVD release contains four classic episodes in which the following stories are told through colorful illustrations from the book...

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” – Reader: Beth Howland
One thing leads to another in this episode, with LeVar in a bowling alley, showing how certain actions lead to consequences. Included is a piece on an expert at domino displays and domino art. Beth Howland reads “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” the tale of a little boy who offers a cookie to a mouse, and all the events that occur afterwards as a result.

Owen” – Reader: Matthew Broderick
It’s easy to get flashbacks while watching READING RAINBOW. Now it’s LeVar’s turn, as he gets in touch with visions of “his boyhood.” Matthew Broderick reads “Owen,” about a little mouse who’s very attached to his security blanket and doesn’t want to give it up, even if it means he will be teased when he starts school.

Two Old Potatoes and Me” – Reader: Jordan Puryear             
Jordan Puryear reads “Two Old Potatoes and Me,” about a girl who works with her father to recycle two old potatoes by replanting them using the sprouts to grow a whole new crop of potatoes. LeVar, working with his daughter, is inspired to make a potato dish from a recipe in the book.

Mr. George Baker” – Reader: Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady narrates the story of an elderly man who decides to go back to school to learn to read, even though he is almost 100, and his relationship with his young neighbor as they wait for the bus every day.  


In addition to each story read, LeVar Burton shares fun facts about all sorts of things including how a bowling bowl is made, how to create a compost pile and the importance of reusing your scraps, and so much more.  My girls loved the four stories that make up this DVD, with the "If You Give A Mouse a Cookie" being their favorite.  I was happy to see them get so into the show and love learning about things.  Savannah couldn't get over how bowling balls are made and loved having some of her favorite storybooks read to her, while enjoying the colorful illustrations from the book.

I hope PBS Distribution continues to release READING RAINBOW DVDs so that my family and other fans of this beloved television series can pick up and grow a READING RAINBOW collection that they can enjoy for years to come.


More about this upcoming DVD release:

"Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high...” is the opening to the instantly recognizable theme song for the iconic series READING RAINBOW. PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing four episodes from READING RAINBOW on the new DVD “IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE.” Since 1983, this beloved children’s television series has been bringing stories to life.

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.  

READING RAINBOW has helped children build lasting relationships with books at home and in the classroom. The four episodes and books, featured in this DVD are “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” read by Beth Howland, “Owen,” read by Matthew Broderick, “Two Old Potatoes and Me,” read by Jordan Puryear, and “Mr. George Baker,” read by Wayne Brady.

IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE” will be available on DVD on May 12th. The DVD run time is approximately 120 minutes and its SRP is $6.99."

About Reading Rainbow and LeVar Burton
The award-winning Reading Rainbow children’s television series launched in 1983 to encourage reading. By the end of the series in 2009, it had produced 155 episodes, all hosted by famed actor/director LeVar Burton, best known for his distinguished TV roles —  most notably Kunta Kinte on Roots and Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation. In 2011, Burton formed RRKidz with his business partner Mark Wolfe with the commitment to bring to the next generation of kids the finest reading and enrichment experiences found anywhere. They hold rights to the Reading Rainbow classic television series and brand through a partnership with series creator WNED/Buffalo. Reading Rainbow is now a fully reimagined digital service, with the mission of bringing a passion for reading to Every Child, Everywhere-- at home, in the classroom, and on the go. Reading Rainbow ® and its logo are registered trademarks of Western New York Public Broadcasting Association (WNED-Buffalo) and used with permission. © 2015 RRKidz, Inc.

About PBS KIDS PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs.  Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video App is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

About PBS Distribution
PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations, and producers.

PBS Distribution offers a diverse range of programming to our customers, including Ken Burns’s films, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming. PBS Distribution offers consumers high-quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming, and is also a leading source for factual content for international broadcast, cable, and satellite services.

Street Date: May 12, 2015
Genre: Children’s
Run Time: Approximately 120 Minutes
SRP: $6.99
Format: DVD

The DVD features four classic episodes from the iconic "Reading Rainbow" series. Each episode of the program, hosted by LeVar Burton,  features a noted celebrity reader narrating a celebrated children's story. For decades this beloved series has been bringing stories to life and helping kids form a lasting connection with books at home and in the classroom.  

Disclosure: I was sent a screener copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.


  1. I love educational dvds like this one for kids and anything PBS puts out is usually great.
    heather [email protected]

  2. Looks like a fun DVD. I like PBS programs