Customer Reviews: Dear Mr. Rogers, Does It Ever Rain in Your Neighborhood?: Letters to Mr. Rogers
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on March 10, 2004
In November of 1998, I was sitting in a computer lab/library at an airbase in Saudi Arabia when an unusual magazine cover caught my eye. It was an issue of ESQUIRE, and taking up almost the whole cover was none other than Mister Fred Rogers, grinning from ear to ear. I read Tom Junod's marvelous article about this heroic man (you'll have to find a copy of the article to learn why I use the word "heroic") over and over and over, many times out loud.
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?
(Page 185)
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.
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on August 19, 2005
I watched Mr. Rogers as a child, I watched and respected him and his TV "ministry" as a Kindergarten teacher and mother. I think he was the most genuine and caring person on television! Very calming and great for kid's self-esteem....what a wonderful role model and human being. This as well as the other books about and by Fred Rogers are priceless. This book is very touching....letters from his viewers with his own responses. A beautiful thing!
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on August 4, 2014
I loved the book, but managed to knock out the whole thing in about two hours. Mister Rogers lays out the planning and work that was put into assembling this book and it's entirely possible that what's in here was literally as much as could have possibly been done. I guess you'd call this a good "airplane book" in that case.

It's a wonderful read, because you're expecting one thing and it delivers so much more. You expect cute letters with very childlike questions, and you get that (he fields a LOT of questions about how he manages to get inside television sets). But he also answers letters from parents dealing with disabled children and children suffering from cancer. And by far, the most moving letter of the bunch: An eight-year-old coping with the sudden death of a two-year-old sibling, just days after losing her temper and yelling "Don't ever come back!"

And the sensitivity and thoughtfulness of the answers only serves to reinforce your impression of Fred Rogers, the person. His insights and his knack for saying exactly the right thing (and the humble way that he assures one viewer that his ability to say the right thing only came from a lot of trial and error) will leave you with a smile on your face.
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on August 14, 2016
This is a great book that contains the letters to Mr. Rogers and his responses. Some are simple, some are difficult like divorce, grandma having Alzheimers, and being afraid of the dark. It gives you insight into Mr. Rogers and how much he cared for his viewers.
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on May 25, 2016
Great book. Wish I could have read it earlier in life and written a letter to Mr. Rogers. The book comes with an addressed envelope to send to him. Missed that opportunity. Many great lessons in the book on how to talk to your kids about different topics. God bless you Fred Rogers!
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on March 17, 2006
I bought this book primarily as a gift for my cousin, whose son is a big fan of the show. I thought that at 2 1/2, he would soon start asking the type of questions addressed in the book, and this would help his parents answer them. I also enjoyed the innocence of the sometimes silly questions asked by the letter writers, and how Mr. Rogers dealt with each person with the compassion and understanding that has made him a family favorite for the last thirty years. Even though he is gone and will be sorely missed, I'm glad that I could help pass on his wisdom to a new generation of fans.
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on September 21, 2009
Enjoyable book of questions submitted by children and their parents. As you would expect, Fred Rogers answered sincerely and lovingly. It is so obvious that this man truly loved children and cared about them.
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on April 4, 2015
Whether or not you remember visiting Mr Rogers' neighborhood as a child, you'll love this book! I've read that Mr Rogers and his co-hosts made a point to answer every viewer letter they ever received over the course of the show. This is a sampling. Sometimes LOL funny, sometimes onions get in your eyes, but difficult to put down.
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on September 30, 2005
If you love Mr. Rogers, this book is worth your read. Through his letters he reminds us once again how to be a good "friend" and respect the feelings of all the people in our neighborhood.
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on June 14, 2014
I've always loved the different views that children have of the world around them. They make me think in different ways. This book does a great job of showing interesting thoughts and worries of children.
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