Fred McFeely Rogers was a staple in multiple children’s lives in two countries. In A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers we have 75 songs from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Children’s Corner.
Luke Flowers and his illustrations bring to life the characters from our childhood, our children’s childhood and perhaps even our grandchildren’s childhood. Rogers was a man who loved children, spoke up before it was “cool” to stand up what was right, and he even testified before congress to get funding for public television. A minister, puppeteer, teacher, producer, writer, father, husband, friend and so much more, Rogers left his mark.
Unfortunately, I am not the fan I thought I was. There were only a few songs/poems that I remembered. However, I do think that some might have been from the predecessors to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and even perhaps after my regular viewing time. However, when I was reading them, I could hear Fred Rogers voice singing out. The mad song must have hit a cord with me as it was one of them (of course, I have heard that song as an adult a few times and there may or may not have been a child around with me….)
Funny, sweet, silly and sincere poems/songs/stories about the everyday is probably what Rogers did best. These poems are about new siblings, being mad/angry, feeling shy, playing, even learning grown-ups where kids once, too. I did notice that several of them are a bit “dated” by being a bit more nuclear family oriented, but that was the times and who Rogers was. We should take this as it was meant: to help children when there was not a lot of this kind of material out there for children.
The afterwards gives some biographical information about his show in Canada, then in the states as well as his educational background. Over all, this book was a pleasant read and, we adults could learn a thing or two from Mr. Rogers.
Due Mid-March 2019