Hello, Neighbor!: The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers

Holiday House/Neal Porter Bks. May 2020. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823446186.
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.

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