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School's out--and KCET decides what better time to hook kids on books?


Starting this week, kids can watch TV and learn about reading at the same time, with the help of "Hooked on Books."

KCET's summer reading project was developed three years ago with the help of some local libraries. "Hooked" encourages reading by airing fun, culturally diverse stories designed to get families into a discussion. Before and after each broadcast, teen personality Simon Maldonado encourages children to visit their library and suggests special reading lists.

"Hooked on Books" concludes each day with an episode of "Reading Rainbow," a year-round program hosted by LeVar Burton, whose storytelling techniques are enhanced by costumes, actors and animation.

"Hooked on Books," Monday-Friday (through Aug. 2) 1-2:30 p.m. KCET. For children up to eighth grade and their families.


An episode of KIDS-TV dealing with "Freedom" (Monday 4-4:30 p.m. Showtime), airing just in time for Independence Day, finds the puppet friends each seeking the meaning of freedom in his or her own way. For 2- to 6-year-olds.

Kiefer Sutherland plays a teen in love with a deaf girl in the 1986 film "Crazy Moon" (Wednesday 8-10 p.m. KTLA). For ages 12 and up.

"Extraordinary People," on Frontline (Wednesday 9-10 p.m. KOCE), reports on Thalidomide babies 25 years later. For parents.

Wave those flags: The Disney Channel presents Fourth of July programming that's appropriately patriotic. In Babar Comes to America (Thursday 11-11:30 a.m.), the famous animated elephant visits the United States. Ben and Me (Thursday 11:30 a.m.-noon and 7:30-8 p.m.) tells the story of Benjamin Franklin from the point-of-view of a churchmouse. The American Dream (Thursday 6:30-7:15 p.m.), is a collection of "What America Means to Me" ideas submitted by kids nationwide. And All About the Statue of Liberty (Thursday 7:15-7:30 p.m.) uses live action, animation and clay animation to express kids' views on the country's ultimate symbol. For ages 4 and up.

Tuck Everlasting (Thursday 4:30-6:30 p.m. Showtime) is the movie version of Natalie Babbitt's award-winning novel in which a little girl learns the secret that keeps a family from growing older. For 8- to 16-year-olds.

Justine and Jason Bateman reprise their real-life roles as brother and sister in the 1986 TV movie Can You Feel Me Dancing? (Friday 3-5 p.m. KCBS), about a blind teen who tries to live her own life despite overprotective parents. For ages 12 and up.

An episode of By the Year 2000 entitled "Blackboards to Keyboards" (Friday 9-9:30 p.m. and Saturday 3-3:30 p.m. KCET) reports on how children's performance in the classroom is linked to developing their individual strengths. The episode also discusses whether all students will get equal access to expensive teaching technology. For parents.

The animated musical special Yankee Doodle Cricket (Saturday 2-2:30 p.m. Nickelodeon) tells the tale of a cat, a mouse and a cricket who help pitch in during the Revolutionary War. For 2- to 11-year-iolds.

In The Coat of Many Colors (Saturday 2:30-3 p.m. Nickelodeon), a princess flees her enemies in the kingdom and hides out in the forest, where she camoflagues herself with a coat of animal skins and goes to work as a chambermaid. She must reveal her true identity, though, when she falls in love with a prince. For 2-11 year-olds.

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