- Paperback: 185 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (August 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140235159
- ISBN-13: 978-0140235159
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dear Mr. Rogers, Does It Ever Rain in Your Neighborhood?: Letters to Mr. Rogers Paperback – August 1, 1996
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TV's incomparable but--he stoutly hopes--imitable Mister Rogers once more shares his skill at communicating to young children, this time by publishing children's letters to him, adults' letters about their children, and his responses to them. He arrays them in chapters entitled with phrases that reflect the kinds of questions ("Are you real?" "Do you have a job?" etc.) and childhood concerns ("Sometimes it's hard to behave," "My brother copies everything I do," etc.) that letter writers most often present to him. His replies are characteristically gentle and authoritative. He encourages children to speak about their feelings and what is on their minds, and he counsels parents to listen and respond truthfully and appropriately to their child's age and temperament. Quite often, he uses the lyrics of a song from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood to make his point in a manner that faithful viewers will recognize. In short, this is a book of modeling for parents, although one that carefully brings forth many adult correspondents to Mister Rogers who are as caring and warmheartedly canny with young children as he is. Ray Olson
From the Back Cover
Every question a child or parent asks is important, and no one understands this better than the television Neighbor who has visited our homes for more than two decades. In this collection of letters and replies, Mister Rogers encourages parents, grandparents, and teachers to cherish the questions and comments that come from their children. With sincerity and sensitivity, real-life issues are addressed in chapters arranged by theme - the world, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, feelings and fears, television, family relationships, and death. Based on his lifelong studies in child development, Fred Rogers offers a thoughtful perspective on childhood and parenting. Dear Mister Rogers is an inspiration to parents and educators and a delight for all those interested in the unique way children see the world and wonder about it.
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So my fascination with Mister Rogers was rekindled for the first time in more than 15 years. But as a child I was mostly fascinated with a magical trolley which could transport you into an enchanted land called Make-Believe. Mr. Junod gave me a much deeper - and therefore, much more fascinating - glimpse at what this man is like.
He was a man who loved children and the adults who once were children as much as he loved himself. He hated television. He believed (or so his actions seem to convey) that his outflow of compassion was as much a necessity for his survival as his intake of oxygen. And his favorite word was grace. In fact, if you met him in person and received his autograph, he would write the word "grace" underneath it - in Greek.
Unmerited favor received from God.
Believing his standards to be no higher than that of God's, Mister Rogers strove to treat others with as much grace as he had received.
The reason I state all of this is because it will all be proven when you read DEAR MISTER ROGERS. This book, containing letters both to and from Mister Rogers, shows that he can be funny, sad, nurturing, and firm. But he was always compassionate. Never in this book is he ever insincere. On more than a few occasions, he proves he does not lack the humility to admit some of the mistakes he has made in life.
Some of the letter exchanges are very cute. None are more so than the one about the father whose little boy insisted that Mister Rogers doesn't "poop"; to which Mister Rogers replies, "I am a real person. And, one thing for certain is that all real people 'poop.'" (Page 7)
The fact that Mister Rogers had a hand in compiling and editing all of these letters, shows his sense of humor. For instance, in the final chapter, 17-year-old Tyler writes
Dear Mister Rogers,
In your younger years did you get a lot of chicks because you were Mister Rogers?
Some of the letters will provoke different emotions, like the ones from Alexandria, who at the tender age of four, was suffering from leukemia; and another letter about one child who listened to (rather than watched) the program because she was blind. (Interesting side-note I learned from Mr. Junod's article: Mr. Rogers was color-blind.)
Unfortunately, it appears that this book is going out of print. But this book is one of those rare gems that are worth looking hard for. I guarantee that this book will bring you pleasure every time you read it.