Today at a press conference in NYC,  LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow, Star Trek and Roots fame, is announcing that Reading Rainbow will soon arrive on the iPad as a full-blow app. The app, which is free for your first book and costs $9.99 for a monthly subscription ($26.99 for 6 months), will be filled with complete books, field trips and more — in other words, it is much more than a simple bookshelf app.

LeVar Burton himself said that “we have reinvented [Reading Rainbow] from the bottom up. To make sure that, like the television show, everything was tied together to real-word experiences.” The overall goal here is to bring together “fun, education, magic, adventure and journey.” After speaking with VCs all over the valley and building an entirely new company, the app will launch tomorrow.

The user’s journey in the app takes place on a hot air balloon, where kids can travel to different islands to discover hundreds of interactive books based on their own interests. The titles in the app have been narrated by Burton and others, and are stored in a personalized backpack. Five books can be stored at once, where they’ll be exchanged on a library system. According to Burton, they’ll be adding new books, videos and islands “all the time.”

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When Reading Rainbow ended its 26 year run, the idea for the Reading Rainbow App was born.

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For those who weren’t fortunate enough to watch this show as a kid, it’s a well loved children’s television show that ran from 1983 to 2006. For all of the journalists and bloggers here at the event, we’re experiencing is a full-blown nostalgic trip. The app goes live at midnight (PST) tonight (6/20) is live now, and will be available in other languages in the future.

➤ Reading Rainbow, on the iPad

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