‘Butterfly In The Sky’ Tells Untold Story of ‘Reading Rainbow’ & LeVar Burton

Reading Rainbow LeVar Burton (left) talks to students at P.S. 234 in Manhattan, an elementary school just blocks away from the World Trade Center, to ask how they've coped during the past year, (Season 14, ep. 1407, aired September 2, 2002), 1983-2006
PBS/Everett Collection

If you were a child in the ’80s, ’90s, or even early 2000s, you likely know the tune. “Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high. Take a look, it’s in a book, a Reading Rainbow!” LeVar Burton hosted the children’s series Reading Rainbow for 23 seasons, aiming to instill a love of reading and inspire the imagination. Now, a new documentary called Butterfly in the Sky is taking fans behind the scenes of the PBS series and showing how things weren’t always rainbows and butterflies.

Directors Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb premiered the documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival and have now confirmed that it will be coming to theaters and streaming. So far, the documentary has won fourteen awards after being screened at festivals.

Reading Rainbow LeVar Burton poses with books featured on the show during its first ten years in a photo celebrating the show's 10th anniversary, (1993), 1983-2006

PBS/Everett Collection

They shared about making the documentary, “Having both grown up in Texas, Reading Rainbow not only reflected the diverse cultures that surrounded us, but LeVar Burton also introduced us to other worlds in colorful and magical ways. We believe Reading Rainbow is among the most important shows ever produced and a true unsung hero of children’s programming. It’s important for us to honor its legacy and teach a new generation about this milestone in television history.”

Reading Rainbow LeVar Burton, 1983-2006

PBS/Everett Collection

Burton also expressed his gratitude for being a part of the beloved children’s show and said he loved the documentary. He added, “Thomason and Whitcomb are terrific storytellers. To take a look at Reading Rainbow through their lens and share this story with audiences everywhere is very special. I hope audiences walk away with the same warm, fuzzy feeling I did when I watched this documentary for the first time.”

The film will have a limited theatrical release starting March 17 in select AMC theaters around the country and will eventually be available to stream.

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June 2018

Unleash your inner child by reliving your favorite kids TV shows, cartoons, toys and more!

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