The world needs good neighbors, and Mister Rogers was one of the kindest.
Through his TV program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers taught generations of children that they were loved. His wisdom and words of encouragement are as essential now as they were decades ago, and publishers appear to agree. Multiple books about Rogers have been released in 2019, from a collection of his song lyrics to a visual history of his beloved show. This year has also gifted us a movie starring Tom Hanks as Rogers, which opens in theaters this weekend.
Whether Rogers has inspired you since you were a child or you’re just discovering him because of the film, the must-read books below will remind you of his kindness for years to come.
By Fred Rogers Productions, Tim Lybarger, Melissa Wagner and Jenna McGuiggan
Why You’ll Love It: This is the most comprehensive book you can find about Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show. From the photos and interviews to the forward by Tom Hanks, this is a must read for anyone who grew up adoring Mister Rogers.
Publisher’s Description: Featuring exclusive photographs, original interviews and rare ephemera, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: A Visual History reveals how the show came together to have a deep impact on American culture. Discover wonderful anecdotes from Yo-Yo Ma and Wynton Marsalis as well as the actors, directors, art designers, producers, studio musicians and more who devoted their careers to working with Fred. Chronicling the show’s complete timeline—from its humble beginnings on WQED in Pittsburgh to its commemoration on the big screen in the feature film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood—this incredibly comprehensive book celebrates both Fred Rogers and the wonderful legacy of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
By Fred Rogers with illustrations by Luke Flowers
Why You’ll Love It: This charming book collects 75 uplifting songs that Fred Rogers wrote and performed on The Children’s Corner and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Paired with delightful illustrations by Luke Flowers, the lyrics are perfect material for reading aloud with young kids.
Publisher’s Description: From funny to sweet, silly to sincere, the lyrics of Mister Rogers explore such universal topics as feelings, new siblings, everyday life, imagination and more. Through these 75 songs—as well as endearing puppets and honest conversations—Mister Rogers instilled in his young viewers the values of kindness, self-awareness and self-esteem. But most of all, he taught children that they are loved, just as they are. Perfect for bedtime, sing-along or quiet time alone, this beautiful book of meaningful poetry is for every child—including the child inside of every one of us.
By Fred Rogers with an essay by Tom Junod
Why You’ll Love It: Previously published as You Are Special, this collection of “advice and encouragement from America’s favorite neighbor” has been rereleased as a movie tie-in edition to the new A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood film. It now includes Tom Junod’s profile of Fred Rogers, which serves as the basis for the movie.
Publisher’s Description: Tom Junod’s Esquire profile of Fred Rogers, “Can You Say… Hero?,” has been hailed as a classic of magazine writing. Here, Junod’s unforgettable piece appears for the first time in book form alongside an inspiring collection of advice and encouragement from Mister Rogers himself. Covering topics like relationships, childhood, communication, parenthood and more, Rogers’s signature sayings and wise thoughts are included here. Pairing the definitive portrait of a national icon with his own instructions for living your best, kindest life, this book is a timeless treasure for Mister Rogers fans.
By Melissa Wagner with Fred Rogers Productions and illustrations by Max Dalton
Why You’ll Love It: This gift book pairs sweet illustrations with quotes by Fred Rogers that “touch on themes of kindness, empathy, self-care, respect and love.” While the content is geared toward children, it will encourage readers of all ages.
Publisher’s Description: More than just a children’s television show host, Mister Rogers was the friend who helped us appreciate the good things in ourselves, in others, and in the world around us. As soon as he stepped through his front door to change into his cardigan and sneakers, we knew we would meet new people and discover new things. This book allows you to revisit some of Mister Rogers’ greatest guidance that we learned alongside Daniel Tiger, X the Owl, King Friday the XIII, Henrietta Pussycat and more.
By Gavin Edwards
Why You’ll Love It: This book is a “pop culture celebration of Fred Rogers,” exploring his legacy in the decades since his show first premiered. The encouraging text serves as a reminder that Mister Rogers’ messages and wisdom are still relevant to our lives today.
Publisher’s Description: Looking back at the history of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and the creative visionary behind it, pop culture aficionado Gavin Edwards reminds us of the indelible lessons and insights that Mister Rogers conveyed—what it means to be a good person, to be open-hearted, to be thoughtful, to be curious, to be compassionate—and why they matter. Beautifully crafted, infused with Mister Rogers’ gentle spirit and featuring dozens of interviews with people whose lives were touched by Fred Rogers—ranging from Rita Moreno to NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann—Kindness and Wonder is a love letter to this unforgettable cultural hero and role model.