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You Are My Friend
Cover of You Are My Friend
You Are My Friend
The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood
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A heartwarming, "beautifully crafted" picture book that celebrates the work of Mister Rogers and carries on his legacy of kindness (Booklist, starred review). Mister Rogers is one of the most beloved...
A heartwarming, "beautifully crafted" picture book that celebrates the work of Mister Rogers and carries on his legacy of kindness (Booklist, starred review). Mister Rogers is one of the most beloved...
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Description-

  • A heartwarming, "beautifully crafted" picture book that celebrates the work of Mister Rogers and carries on his legacy of kindness (Booklist, starred review).
     
    Mister Rogers is one of the most beloved television personalities of our time, but before he was the man who brought us Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, he was just little Freddie Rogers. Though he was often sick and had trouble making friends as a child, his mom and grandfather encouraged him to ask for help and explore the world. With their support, he learned how to better say what he was feeling and see the beauty around him. As he grew up, he realized he could spread the message of compassion, equality, and kindness through television. You Are My Friend is a gentle homage to Fred Rogers and shows how his simple message still resonates with us today: "There's no person in the world like you and I like you just the way you are." The book also includes a short biography of Fred Rogers' life and a bibliography.
    "A simply written, thoughtful tribute worthy of the incomparable Mister Rogers." ?Kirkus Reviews
    This is a work of fiction. This book is an expression of admiration of Fred Rogers, the man and the artist, by the author and illustrator. This book is not associated with or endorsed by The Fred Rogers Company.

About the Author-

  • Aimee Reid taught high-school English, music and special education before she began to work full-time as a writer. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Matt Phelan is an award-winning author and illustrator. He received the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction and has been nominated for five Eisner Awards. He lives in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 20, 2019
    In this graceful, quietly moving biography, readers learn that Fred Rogers, the PBS personality beloved by generations of children, started life as an outlier, bullied and often sick, with only his puppets for friends. “Sometimes, when he was all alone, Freddie cried,” writes Reid (Mama’s Day with Little Gray), who strikes a soothing, almost reportorial tone throughout. The discovery that emotions of all kinds could be articulated through music, and the loving attention of a few key adults, help Rogers gain confidence and a sense of purpose, inspiring him to invent a TV show that celebrates helping, kindness, and the importance of people learning “to like themselves.” Pencil-and-watercolor art by Phelan (Little Robot Alone) exudes a sense of warmth and reflection, not unlike Rogers’s show itself; pops of red and other bright colors punctuate soft, sunny washes to emphasize Rogers’s signature cardigans—which, in these pages, date back to his childhood. It’s a graceful, quietly moving biography, albeit one that includes very little where Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is concerned: for example, the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and the groundbreaking role of Officer Clemmons are never referenced. Nonetheless, readers should come away with appreciation for Rogers as someone who cared deeply about what children thought and felt. Ages 5–8.

  • Kirkus

    June 15, 2019
    Using straightforward words and a deliberate pace that emulate the tone of Fred Rogers himself, Reid chronicles the story of this extraordinary childhood icon. "You are important. You are valuable. You are enough--just as you are." Freddie, as he was known as a child, spent quite a bit of time inside due to illness. Lonely, he turned to his puppets for comfort and entertainment, foreshadowing Daniel Tiger, Henrietta Pussycat, and other well-known characters who would later appear in Make-Believe. Fred's grandfather McFeely taught him to believe in himself, to trust that he was special. Fred learned how to handle difficult emotions by playing piano music that evoked how he felt in the moment. His mother played an important part, too, encouraging him to look for helpers around him. So many of these early strategies and philosophies would later form the ethos of the Emmy Award-winning Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which ran for 895 episodes on PBS. Phelan's watercolor illustrations perfectly capture, through vivid colors, the rainbow of emotions that Freddie experienced. Phelan also employs both classic vignettes and graphic-novel elements, offering a unique portrayal of this remarkable individual. In one later image, he surrounds the sweater-clad white man with diverse children, including one who uses a wheelchair. Poignant notes from the author and illustrator explain the purpose, vision, and heart behind this book. A simply written, thoughtful tribute worthy of the incomparable Mister Rogers. (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2019

    PreS-Gr 2-A quietly moving picture book biography about the origin story of Mister Rogers. In straightforward language, Reid lays out the facts of Fred "Freddie" Rogers's childhood-bouts of sickness that forced him to remain inside for weeks on end, loneliness that laid the foundation for an expansive imagination, bullying, and a close relationship with his grandfather, who showed love and unconditional support and gifted young Freddie with the words that would shape his own philosophy: that he "was special and that, just by being himself, [he] made the day special, too." Phelan's soft pencil work and washes of watercolor give the artwork an appropriately nostalgic feel, while bright pops of green and red-Fred's iconic cardigans-draw the eye and underscore the unique power of Mister Rogers to inspire an almost instantaneous bond with his viewers. Young readers who may not be familiar with Mister Rogers' Neighborhood but who've likely enjoyed its successors, especially Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, will learn about the man behind the creation of the original Neighborhood of Make-Believe and his path from shy boy to the visionary who revolutionized educational television for children. Back matter, including a brief biography, notes from Reid and Phelan, and a selected bibliography will help students understand the emotional impact Fred Rogers had-and continues to have-on generations of children. VERDICT With the popularity of Daniel Tiger and the recent Morgan Neville documentary (Won't You Be My Neighbor?) and the upcoming biopic starring Tom Hanks, it is an ideal time to introduce the next generation to the pure magic of Mister Rogers and his legacy. His enduring message to children of all ages-that you are enough, just as you are-can never be overstated.-Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from June 1, 2019
    Preschool-G *Starred Review* As a boy, Freddie Rogers suffered from allergies and illnesses that often kept him indoors. It was hard to make friends, and bullies sometimes chased him. Though grown-ups advised him to hide his emotions, he learned to express them through puppetry and music. Grandpa McFeely was an ally, telling Fred that he was special and that he liked him just the way he was. As an adult, Rogers created a children's television show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, in which he spoke directly to children, sometimes used puppets, and sang his own songs, all the while passing along the messages and tools that had supported him through his own childhood. Writing with simplicity, emotional clarity, and a sense of purpose, Reid tells Fred Rogers' story in a meaningful, sometimes moving way. Phelan's fluid pencil-and-watercolor artwork brings that story to life on the page. Whether depicting the fearful boy running from neighborhood bullies or Rogers as an adult delivering a message to his television friends, the sensitively drawn, beautifully composed illustrations illuminate the scenes. Following an appended page offering additional biographical information, the writer and illustrator each reflect on watching Rogers' TV show (one as a parent, the other as a child) and their approaches to telling his story. A beautifully crafted, heartfelt picture-book biography.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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