I was going to title this post "Heaven Just Got a Little More Reading Rainbow," because I read too much Videogum, but then I decided people might think LeVar Burton had died or something. (And then I went to Videogum and discovered they posted this story under the title "Heaven Just Got a Little More Reading Rainbow," and a few commenters were like, "Whew, I thought LeVar Burton died!" So, I win? I guess?)
Of course, what actually happened was that yesterday marked the last new episode of Reading Rainbow. It's been on the air for 26 years, which means that my sister, who is just two years younger than me, has never lived in a world without Reading Rainbow. (It also means that Burton hosted the show all throughout his Star Trek: The Next Generation days - do you think he ever showed up at the RR studio all out of breath, still wearing his visor and his Starfleet uniform? Because that would be awesome.)
Anyway, even though I don't think I ever actually read any of the books recommended on the show, I have fond memories of it because it was all about great it is to read. Reading really is the best, you guys! Don't tell me you never wanted to turn into a cartoon astronaut like the girl in the opening credits:
(My guess is that while almost nobody remembers a specific episode of the show, everybody remembers the opening credits. Maybe they could just play that clip for half an hour a day.)
I was probably not Reading Rainbow's target audience, because I always knew that reading was amazing. So maybe I'm overstating things when I say that yesterday, we lost a powerful tool in the quest to teach children to use their imaginations. (I hope I'm overstating things, anyway.)
But still, it's nice to keep this in mind: We can go anywhere. We can be anything.