Reading Rainbow Book Guide, S1E1: Tight Times

My youngest son recently discovered the magic that is Reading Rainbowand we’ve been watching the show daily. With every book featured, my son says, “We need to get that from the library!” Then I go running for a pen and paper so I can jot down titles and authors before they’re off the screen.

Reading Rainbow


For that reason, I decided to start creating Reading Rainbow book guides for each episode. I wanted to make it easy for parents, teachers, and kids to find the books they see featured on the show. Whether you’re remembering a book from your youth or looking for a requested book for your child, I hope you’ll find these helpful.

You’ll also want to check out the new Reading Rainbow app. It’s a great way to use your child’s screen time to encourage a love of books. We love it!


Reading Rainbow: Season 1 Episode 1 – Tight Times

Reading Rainbow Book Guide S1 E1

This episode is available for purchase on iTunes.

Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazzen – A little boy finds a hungry kitten in a trash can on the same day his dad loses his job. Times are tight; will he be allowed to keep his pet?

The Terrible Thing That Happened at Our House by Marge Blaine – A little girl struggles when her mom gets a new job and goes back to work.

When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant – A beautiful story of the simple life in the Appalachian mountains, with a focus on the loving relationship between a child and her grandparents.

Pet Show! by Ezra Jack Keats – Archie wants to enter the neighborhood pet show, but his cat has run away! Don’t miss the gorgeous illustrations from Ezra Jack Keats.

Like the Reading Rainbow theme song says, take a look! It’s in a book! For more Reading Rainbow episode guides, be sure to follow our Reading Rainbow Pinterest board.


Note: The episodes of Reading Rainbow featured on Netflix and Amazon Prime are collections, and are not the chronological seasons. The first episode you get on these services will not be Season 1, Episode 1.





Crystal is an activist, feminist, and mom of three. She loves reading, crochet, and enjoying her family and friends. She lives with her family in Indianapolis.

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