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Children's LiteratureThe story of Fred Rogers, the creator and host of a popular television children's program, begins with his birth on March 20, 1928, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Author George Stanley writes this biography in story form, using dialogue throughout to highlight important events in Roger's life. In the first chapter we find out through dialogue from Rogers parents and grandparents that he had trouble breathing and his mother feared for his health. In fact, Rogers did have serious respiratory problems that grew worse. In his early years, he was often confined to bed rest. It was during these times of isolation that Rogers began to make sock puppets and developed his story-telling skills. Rogers was also interested in music. He played the piano at an early age. Rogers was a sensitive, thoughtful child. As he grew up, he wondered what he would do. He liked music, but he also thought about becoming a minister. His father was the president of a brick company. Maybe he would go into the brick business. Eventually, Rogers attended Dartmouth College for one year and then enrolled in Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. He graduated in 195l with a degree in music composition and found work with National Educational Television. That was the beginning of his television career. In 1963 he created a children's program called "Mister Rogers." It became a popular awarding winning program and ran for over thirty years. Roger's most remembered words on his show were, "Will you be my neighbor?" This is a readable, enjoyable book about a man who entertained and taught children through his puppets, words, and actions. The illustrations are black and white. 2004, Aladdin Paperbacks, Ages 8 to 12.
—Della A. Yannuzzi