Cover image for Hello neighbor! : the kind and caring world of Mister Rogers
Hello neighbor! : the kind and caring world of Mister Rogers
Physical Description:
pages cm
Reading Level:
AD 910 L Lexile

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Kindness, caring, and reliance on our neighbors are more important now than ever before. We all need more Mister Rogers in our lives.

In difficult times, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood provided a refuge for children and their families alike; a way to understand and talk about what was happening, and find hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Groundbreaking in a quiet, generous way, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood introduced a generation of children to the wonders of the world in the comfort of their own living rooms. Fred Rogers took young viewers to art museums, introduced them to different professions, and talked through difficult subjects like losing a loved one, or experiencing parents' divorce, with compassion and reassurance.

Share that deep respect, care, and quiet joy in the day-to-day with the only authorized picture book biography of Fred Rogers--lovingly created by Caldecott Medalist Matt Cordell.

Lively, colorful illustrations explore Fred Rogers' early life and the events that led him to create his enduring show. Exclusively published archival photographs, provided by Fred Rogers Productions, offer a behind-the-scenes look at this historic show and the people whose hard work made it possible. A brief biography of Mister Rogers and a history of the show is included, as well as a note from author-illustrator Matt Cordell about his inspiration and longtime admiration for Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Perfect for fans of the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood , starring Tom Hanks, or anyone who wants to bring home the ideals of compassion, kindness, and patience that make us all good neighbors, this captivating picture book should not be missed.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Author Notes

Matthew Cordell is the Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator of Wolf in the Snow , and the illustrator of numerous highly acclaimed children's books including The Only Fish in the Sea (by Philip C. Stead) and Special Delivery which was a Washington Post Best Book of 2015. He wrote and illustrated Another Brother, Wish and Hello! Hello! , a New York Times Notable Children's Book . Matthew lives near Chicago with his wife, author Julie Halpern, and their two children.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2--Newer and older fans are welcomed to the neighborhood in this warm, respectful tribute to Fred Rogers. The trolley chugs across the verso of the title page, then lands in the first spread right in the middle of the model streets. The view pulls back to show the entire television production set. The narrative then goes backward in time to discuss Rogers's childhood and early career. A mix of sepia-toned spot illustrations and full-color spreads convey history and the passage of time. While Mister Rogers currently is getting a lot of adult attention, this book is successful in returning the focus to a child audience, explaining how Rogers was unique and describing his lasting influence. The illustrations include many elements from the show; the act of identifying these details feels like a treasure hunt. A visual glossary explains the significance of the images. The children and adults depicted throughout the book have a variety of skin tones, and some pictures include people using wheelchairs. VERDICT Caldecott-winning author Cordell and the iconic Mister Rogers have a lot of neighbors. Buy multiple copies.--Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond

Publisher's Weekly Review

When readers first see Fred Rogers in this authorized picture book biography, he's an instantly recognizable figure playing his beloved piano; musical notes, hearts, and more pour forth from the instrument. Caldecott Medalist Cordell begins his story on the TV set of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, then circles back to Rogers's youth in Pittsburgh, detailing his loving family and appreciation of music, his sometimes painful childhood ("Fred was shy and often lonely"), and his unexpected discovery of television's possibilities for speaking to children: "He would simply be his honest self." Galleries of portraits include the show's inclusive cast of characters and some eminent guests. Drawings framed like television stills recreate the show's famous opening and closing sequences and capture moments happy, "like visiting the circus," and sad, "like saying goodbye to a beloved pet." Cordell acknowledges the vast audience in front of the television screen--and Rogers's own interest in how things work-- with drawings of children watching in their homes and camera operators maneuvering around the sets. Scribbly lines, soft colors, and earnest storytelling create an open, affectionate atmosphere perfectly in keeping with Rogers's quiet strength and generous heart. Back matter includes photographs and more information. Ages 4--8. Agents: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio and Matthew Shiels, Fred Rogers Productions. (May)

Horn Book Review

This authorized biography of Fred Rogers opens as did his iconic television program, with a stoplight flashing yellow, signaling that it is time to slow down and enjoy our surroundings. It's a fitting message for readers who met Mister Rogers as young visitors to his Neighborhood. Now fans can discover how he envisioned his television program, why he developed it, and the thinking behind the characters and settings. They can learn that what they may have considered a casual visit to The Neighborhood was carefully planned, covering events of discovery, joy, and sadness in children's lives. Cordell's loose pen, ink, and watercolor drawings reflect the leisurely pace of Rogers's speaking and writing styles, while the text is infused with gentle reminders of his philosophy. Quotes and song lyrics, all encouraging self-confidence and self-worth, appear throughout. Tidbits of information, such as the significance of the number 143, or the fact that Officer Clemmons was the first Black character to appear in a recurring role in a children's television series, remind readers that every aspect of the program was perceptively constructed. Appended with an extended biography, archival photographs, a note discussing the author-illustrator's admiration of Rogers, a picture glossary, and sources. A fine tribute to a fine man. Betty Carter May/June 2020 p.138(c) Copyright 2020. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Welcome, friend, to Mr. Rogers' neighborhood! The best neighborhoods are filled with all kinds of people, and Mr. Rogers' is no different. Fred Rogers invited various artists, musicians, and public figures to his make-believe neighborhood, where he worked with puppeteers, actors, and others to create a unique place for his youngest television viewers--one filled with messages, spoken and sung, that underscored the values of love, kindness, and curiosity. Precise narration leads readers through the touchstones of Fred's life, highlighting how his childhood influenced his mission: to treat children with deep respect for their emotions and intelligence. Cordell's signature illustration style--scratchy pen and ink with pastel-hued watercolors--immerses readers in this world of make-believe, infusing graphically distinct spreads with warmth and humor, Fred's recognizable red cardigan popping against the milder tints. Cordell fittingly includes children of color and children with disabilities, demonstrating the universal appeal and relevance of this special program. Extensive backmatter includes a biography, photographs from the show, a visual glossary of icons in the book and their connection to the show, a note from the author about his connection to Fred Rogers, and ways to learn more about this iconic figure of children's television. Endpapers bookend the story with inspirational quotes from Fred Rogers. Essential for storytime read-alouds, emotional-literacy curricula, and bedtime snuggles in neighborhoods everywhere. (Informational picture book. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

In what's advertised as the only authorized picture-book biography on the revolutionary creator of children's TV programming, Caldecott medalist Cordell reverently presents Fred Rogers' beginnings, career, and impact on the world. Inspired by his spiritual upbringing and disappointed in the direction that the new TV medium was heading--especially regarding children's entertainment--the young seminarian used his musical and creative talents to conjure a world that respected children's feelings and addressed their experiences with honesty. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood ran from 1968 to 2001, touching countless lives with its message of kindness. Direct quotations from the subject punctuate Cordell's simple narrative, and handwritten song lyrics and word bubbles add to the overall warmth of the work. The illustrations bring home the joy that Rogers brought to families every day. The opening spread gives a bird's-eye view of the model of the show's fictional world, before taking readers on a tour of the producer's life. Kids will pore over the intricate images, done in the author-illustrator's signature style--from portraits of the TV show's different characters to a behind-the-scenes look at the set where all the magic happened. Photos, a visual glossary, further reading, and a detailed summary of his life are included in the back matter. In a crowded field of Mister Rogers books, this gorgeous offering stands apart.