Reading Rainbow (TV Series 1983– )

Season 1983

1Tight TimesTight Times (6 Jun. 1983)
What can you do with very little money? That's what the featured book and LeVar must face. To set the tone for the entire series, LeVar shows a friend a wealth of fun at the local library. Patrick McCaffrey reads Tight Times, a story about how a little boy talks his parents into letting him adopt a stray cat even though they have to make budget cuts after the father is laid off from his job.
2Miss Nelson Is BackMiss Nelson Is Back (7 Jun. 1983)
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 one day, and how she gets revenge on them by pretending to be "the meanest teacher in the world, Viola Swamp."
3Bea and Mr. JonesBea and Mr. Jones (8 Jun. 1983)
LeVar is already worn out after working on several scenes all day long on the production of the series. He feels he needs to take on another identity, segueing into introducing the featured book, Bea and Mr. Jones. Madeline Kahn reads the book about a kindergarten student and her father who get so bored with their jobs that they decide to experiment by switching places for the day.
4Bringing the Rain to Kapiti PlainBringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain (9 Jun. 1983)
How do you envision the rain, or any kind of weather? Some of the things to ask about in this show of weather legends. When LeVar's plans of attending a picnic and softball game are derailed by a downpour, he decides to stay home to read a few books instead. James Earl Jones reads Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, an African story written in the style of "The House That Jack Built," about how one action leads to another to help bring water to a drought torn region.
5Louis the FishLouis the Fish (10 Jun. 1983)
Starting at the New England Aquarium, LeVar gets into a lengthy observation of aquatic life. Vincent Gardenia reads the story of Louis the Fish, a fanciful tale of a man, forced to take over his family's butcher business but secretly longing to take care of fish instead, wakes up one morning to find he magically turned into a giant salmon.
6Digging Up DinosaursDigging Up Dinosaurs (13 Jun. 1983)
Technically not the first science-related show in its history, LeVar seeks a place where archaeologists retrieve dinosaur bones. At the end of the program, LeVar buries a time capsule, containing (among other things) a can of old Coke and his picture. Linda Gilman reads Digging Up Dinosaurs, a story about how paleontologists unearth dinosaurs skeletons and preserve them in museum exhibits.
7Liang and the Magic PaintbrushLiang and the Magic Paintbrush (14 Jun. 1983)
LeVar goes to Chinatown for a look at Chinese culture. In something completely different, a New York technology institute draws a traditional Chinese dragon boat.
8Gila Monsters Meet You at the AirportGila Monsters Meet You at the Airport (15 Jun. 1983)
In the featured book, a young boy and his family move from New York City to the Southwest and he has many misconceptions about what his new home is like.
9Three Days on a River in a Red CanoeThree Days on a River in a Red Canoe (16 Jun. 1983)
LeVar takes a camping trip with some young friends. They make a photo album of their trip and some other kids share their photo albums they made to show what they did over the summer. Carolyn McMahon narrates Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe, a story about a girl and her cousin who go on a camping trip with their mothers and ride in a canoe on the river.
10The Gift of the Sacred DogThe Gift of the Sacred Dog (17 Jun. 1983)
The first of many programs favoring Native Americans. In this instance, a Midwestern legend suggests how horses arrived to the tribe. Later in this episode is the song "Ancient Places, Sacred Lands" which lists several words originating from various locations of the United States and the tribal meaning of their names.
11Gregory, the Terrible EaterGregory, the Terrible Eater (20 Jun. 1983)
Today's subject is goats and what they eat.
12Three by the SeaThree by the Sea (21 Jun. 1983)
LeVar spends a day at the beach, where he notices that everyone is reading the book of the day, Three by the Sea. Improvisation Comedy Troupe members of Chicago City Limits read the story of three children who challenge each other to come up with different stories using the same topic material. Later on, the improvising actors work with a group of children to teach them improv acting.
13Arthur's EyesArthur's Eyes (22 Jun. 1983)
LaVar explores seeing and our other senses, as Bill Cosby tells the story of how the young aardvark, Arthur Read acquired his pair of glasses.
14The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the WashThe Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash (23 Jun. 1983)
LeVar visits a pet store to discuss the featured book, and imagines that one of the pets from the store followed him home. It's a field day for the farm animals, and not a place for the faint of heart (or so the featured book would have it). The show also attends a state fair to investigate livestock competitions. Kaleena Kiff and Laura Hicks read the featured story of a little girl telling her mother about a school fieldtrip to a farm, and the chaos that ensued when her classmate brought along his pet snake to introduce it to the farm animals.
15Ty's One Man BandTy's One Man Band (24 Jun. 1983)
LeVar is ready to find music everywhere, and he does. This show includes the animation Onomatopoeia. Lou Rawls reads the story of Ty's One-Man Band, about a man who teaches a boy how to make music using household items.