With so many schools across the world shutting down in light of recent events, former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton is looking for family-friendly books to read in a live-stream version of his LeVar Burton Reads podcast. On Twitter, Burton recently noted he's been busting his brain for a week figuring out how to make the live-stream a reality. "I figured that during this difficult time I could contribute by reading aloud to folks who could use some diversion for themselves and their families," Burton notes on Twitter, revealing the planned project.
Despite his intentions, however, actor and reader LeVar Burton hit a snag when cycling through available options from the public domain. "In order to avoid legal complications, I've gone down the rabbit hole searching through volumes of short stories in the public domain for appropriate content for families and have come up empty," Burton adds in a follow-up message to his original tweet. Certainly, there would have to be some great titles out there among the many available options, but for just one man, finding them has proven to be a challenge. Cue the authors of the world to step in, as a few notable names have already responded to Burton on Twitter to throw all of their authored books into the hat.
Noticing Burton's frustrations, Neil Gaiman hopped on Twitter to offer his entire literary catalog to the professional reader. "You have my blanket permission for any of my stories LeVar," Gaiman plainly states in response to Burton's original tweet. "You good Sir, are my hero! Sending love to you and yours during these turbulent times," Burton says in response, creating one of the most wholesome Twitter exchanges you'll see all week. Gaiman also goes the extra mile by saying the offer is "for all of you" in response to a fan asking if his work could also be used for a program where people read stories for kids in videos posted online.
Famous children's book author Sandra Boynton, whose books include such classics as Barnyard Dance!, Pajama Time!, Snuggle Puppy, and Blue Hat, Green Hat, also offered her library of titles free to use with no legal complications for Burton. "I'd be amazed and honored to have you read any of my books," Boynton writes on Twitter, noting her publishers "would happily" send the books to Burton to use for his readings. Given the popularity of these books with small children, there's undoubtedly many kids out there who'd just love to see this happen.
Looking through the plethora of responses to Burton's tweet reveals seemingly countless other offers from various authors for Burton to read any of their stories he so desires. As word of Burton's quest to find appropriate titles to read spreads, it seems likely more and more authors will jump on board, so let's up this live-stream idea from the former Reading Rainbow host comes to fruition. For now, adult book lovers can listen to Burton reading various titles on the podcast version of Burton's show LeVar Burton Reads.