RRKidz has announced that its flagship brand Reading Rainbow is partnering with publisher National Geographic Kids to expand its interactive reading subscription app, available exclusively on the iPad.
The company is also expanding its library with a new branded island featuring dozens of books as well as videos hosted and narrated by RRKidz co-founder LeVar Burton. “I promised parents and children that the Reading Rainbow App would continually evolve, and with this major partnership with National Geographic Kids, we deliver on that promise,” Burton says in the announcement. “With hundreds of books and video field trips in our library, and more being added every week, our App continues to be the best resource for children to develop the love of reading that is so important to their futures.”
The “Awesome People Island” will include dozens of new books from National Geographic Kids’ most popular series as well as those from other publishers, plus video field trips about heroes, important historical figures, and everyday people who make a difference—such as a look into the Oval Office, a view of Air Force One, and a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
In addition, the new island is debuting a new video series titled “I Love My Job Because…” to introduce kids to the world of possibilities of who they can become one day.
National Geographic Kids’ contribution to the island will include the Picture the Seasons series of photography books; National Geographic Readers, easy-to-read books about exciting subjects kids care about; and the National Geographic Little Kids Look & Learn series for pre-readers.
Additional new books “on the island” will include offerings from publisher Holiday House’s acclaimed historical persons series A Picture Book of…, including such titles as Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Benjamin Franklin.
“Reading Rainbow and LeVar Burton have inspired generations of young readers to become passionate about books and reading. With this new app, the next generation of kids will take that passion to the digital world,” says Melina Bellows, executive vice president and chief creative officer of National Geographic Books, Kids and Family, in the announcement.
The Reading Rainbow App, which launched last year, features hundreds of fiction and nonfiction books from acclaimed children’s publishers as well as newly produced and classic video field trips. The reading experience is customized to a child’s specific topics of interests and age. Each book in the library can be experienced as either “read on my own” or “read to me,” with voice-over narration by professional actors including Emmy award-winning actor LeVar Burton, Burton was host and executive producer of the original Peabody Award-winning Reading Rainbow PBS television series, which from 1983–2006.