cover image Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More than Ever

Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More than Ever

Gavin Edwards. Dey St, $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-295074-1

Edwards (The Tao of Bill Murray) affectionately captures the spirit of Fred Rogers (1928–2003) in a crisply told biography that focuses on the enduring lessons Rogers shared with his viewers. For more than 30 years beginning in 1951, Mister Rogers walked through his front door, put on his tennis shoes and cardigan sweater, and sang “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Growing up near Pittsburgh with doting parents, Rogers thrived in a loving and encouraging family, especially his grandfather, who spoke the words that shaped Rogers: “There’s just one person in this whole world just like you—and I like you just the way you are.” Edwards traces Rogers from his days at Rollins College in Florida, where he met his future wife, Joanne Byrd, through his earliest forays into television in New York City, to his development of the characters for his show and his advocacy for quality children’s programming. Edwards also pulls examples from Rogers and his show that teach lessons on how to live more like Rogers right now, such as being kind to strangers, telling the truth, and “always seeing the best in people.” Edwards’s enthusiastic prose vibrantly captures Rogers’s spirit and wisdom. [em](Oct.) [/em]