In 1983, I was 14 going on 15, too old to appreciate or care about Reading Rainbow. But when my daughter was born in 1990, I was obsessed with making sure that she grew up to be a reader, as my parents did with their children. It wasn’t until she was in preschool that I remembered Reading Rainbow, and let me tell you, I was jealous. Jealous because I didn’t have that show growing up. Yes, I had Sesame Street, Electric Company and the like and I will ALWAYS be grateful for those shows. I learned so much from them and they are very close to my heart. But Reading Rainbow was another story. It was funny, engaging and just downright fun. My daughter loved that show and I loved Levar Burton for creating such a wonder for children and encouraging them to read. But secretly, I wished he would read to ME.
Well, people. My wish, no, our wish has come true. Levar Burton Reads is the podcast we’ve all be waiting for. I first learned of the podcast when Levar (because he would want me to call him Levar, I just know it) was interviewed on one of my favorite podcasts called The Read and he mentioned his new show. And let me tell you, I was beyond excited. Levar Burton could be in my ears, reading short stories to me. ME!! I subscribed to the podcast right away and was not disappointed.
The first story in the series is called Kin by Bruce McAllister and it was absolutely amazing. The story itself is wonderful and unlike anything I’d ever read before. But listening to Levar Burton read it was mesmerizing. Not only did the story capture my full attention, but Levar’s voice and natural talent for storytelling came through, pulling me into the story with ease. After the story was done, Levar talked about why he chose that story (which he does every week) and then tells listeners the name of the short story collection the story came from. Let’s just say that my list of books is growing every week.
My plan is to start the series from the beginning again so I can listen to each story uninterrupted. I suggest you stop whatever you’re doing, subscribe to Levar Burton Reads, and prepare yourself for the journey. I highly recommend it.
Levar Burton Reads can be found on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and wherever you can subscribe to podcasts. DO IT!