A collection of the lyrics to 75 songs composed by the beloved children’s-television personality.
Readers and listeners who’ve heard these words sung by their creator seem likely to be the most appreciative audience for the earnest messages, lighthearted flights of fancy, and familiar phrases found in the poems gathered here. Caregivers may wish to search out a specific song to introduce (or reinforce) a discussion about a typical childhood experience or difficulty. Poems encouraging a strong sense of self abound, as do those that reassure young children that they can manage their emotions as they continue to learn and grow. Because of the thematic emphasis on healthy development, however, this is more a resource than a collection that would invite casual browsing. Unfortunately, without the melodies, some of the poems lack obvious rhythm. And, as songs often do, some feature repeating phrases or verses. Both of these factors further weaken the book’s potential appeal as a general poetry collection. Flowers’ illustrations are energetic and feature characters from the iconic television show as well as vignettes of young children and spot drawings of everyday objects. The pictures tie the collection even more closely to their source and may spark some interest, but they do little to extend or expand the meaning of the text.
This interesting attempt to make Mr. Rogers’ wisdom broadly accessible may wind up mainly reinforcing the importance of his presence to its success. (index) (Poetry. 3-8)