This video from LeVar Burton isn’t going to make it onto Reading Rainbow any time soon.
The host of the beloved PBS children’s series and Star Trek star made an appearance at a Saturday charity event for the Children’s Miracle Network. In an awesome throwback to Reading Rainbow, Burton is asked to pick a story — any story — and Burton made a choice that is definitely not Reading Rainbow-approved: Go the F*** to Sleep, a best seller by Adam Mansbach.
“This is one of my favorite children’s stories,” Burton said, before beginning to read the book, which contains such lines as, “The windows are dark in the town, child, the whales huddled down in the deep. I’ll read you one very last book if you swear you’ll go the f*** to sleep,” and, “The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest and the creatures who crawl, run and creep. I know you’re not thirsty — that’s bull****, stop lying, lie the f*** down, my darling, and sleep.”
You know, the usual stuff parents say to their kids.
Luckily, the crowd sitting cross-legged on the floor listening to Burton read was made up of young adults and not the kids usually seen in their place on Reading Rainbow.
Warning: The video of the event is definitely NSFW.
According to E! News, the book was inspired by the author’s toddler daughter, who was fussy about bedtime. It became a huge hit when famous actor, Samuel L. Jackson, read it aloud as a lullaby. As a child of the Reading Rainbow generation, I may be biased, but Burton’s version is much better.
This isn’t the first time Burton’s been in the news recently. He took to Kickstarter in May to crowdfund an app-based revival of Reading Rainbow and raised more than $1 million in less than 24 hours. He plans to use the money to provide the Reading Rainbow app to 1,500 low-income classrooms for free.