Not that I don't love LaVar...
June 20, 2012 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Everyone remembers Reading Rainbow, but what about other reading TV shows in the 1980s?

I know there were other shows in which adults read books to kids. One of my favorites involved a white man who possibly had a Burt Reynolds-ish mustache, who read books as he drew chalk illustrations of the stories. Does anyone remember the name of this show? Other 80's reading and/or drawing shows also welcome - but this one is bugging me the most.

Thanks, all!
posted by lodie6 to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My Google-fu is weak in this case but if it helps, that show you're referring to had an episode based around Bridge to Terabithia.
posted by griphus at 8:57 AM on June 20, 2012

posted by sarahnicolesays at 9:03 AM on June 20, 2012

meh. That was 90s.
posted by sarahnicolesays at 9:03 AM on June 20, 2012

Seeing you're in MD, you might not know this show. But we had Read All About It in Ontario. It was cool and a bit creepy.
posted by methroach at 9:04 AM on June 20, 2012

Could it have been Let's Draw? There was a gentleman like you describe who illustrated the stories, but I don't remember seeing him read.

Also, you might be interested in Read All About It, which I also remember watching at school at the same time.
posted by activitystory at 9:04 AM on June 20, 2012

Ah, here we go, it was probably one of John Robbins' numerous shows. Here's one that was called The Book Bird.
posted by griphus at 9:05 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

That has to be it, griphus! Thanks for sharing-- I think I mis-remembered Let's Draw. John Robbins is definitely who I was thinking of, and hopefully the OP too.
posted by activitystory at 9:09 AM on June 20, 2012

In the UK we had Jackanory.
posted by Helga-woo at 9:12 AM on June 20, 2012

In the Boston area we had Long Ago and Far Away, narrated by James Earl Jones.
posted by nonane at 9:30 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Standouts in my mind include Tales in a Treehouse, which has very memorable theme music, and Once Upon a Time, which has... hm... also very memorable theme music. Both of these may have been associated with Nebraska or South Dakota PBS.
posted by rlk at 9:32 AM on June 20, 2012

Oh yes, and the OP is definitely talking about John Robbins.
posted by rlk at 9:41 AM on June 20, 2012

Would you include Picture Pages in this?
posted by jbickers at 9:43 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have a memory of a reading show which was NOT Reading Rainbow (no Levar Burton) but which had talking shoes. What was that?
posted by jb at 9:53 AM on June 20, 2012

Thanks, all! It was definitely John Robbins that I was remembering. I LOVED picture pages, too, but had completely forgotten it - and it's cool to see what was being done on a strictly local level. I'm in MD now, but grew up in Cincinnati, just FYI. No need to quit posting just because the main question's been answered!
posted by lodie6 at 10:09 AM on June 20, 2012

Ok then, Vegetable Soup, which featured Outerscope.
posted by activitystory at 11:03 AM on June 20, 2012

Oh wow, this. My elementary school had tapes of this, which our librarian used to put on sometimes when he didn't feel like showing us how to use the card catalog for the fifth time that year. On the one hand, it's really cool to watch the dude draw, but on the other hand, nothing is less effective at entertaining a restless group of 7 year olds like slow-paced stories with softly playing music and a man sketching.
posted by deludingmyself at 12:01 PM on June 20, 2012

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