15 Nov, 2019
One of the most famous people to grace the lives of children was Mister Rogers. He was the host of his famous television show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, for 33 years. With creative songs, storytelling, poems, and puppets, his show was filled with love, learning, and make-believe.
So when a reviewer of Reading Is Fun! Imagine That! – Tom Soma, a former executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities in Portland, Oregon, of all people! – compared my book to Mister Rogers, I was deeply humbled.
Here’s what his review said: “Charming stories…each one uniquely warm and inspiring. They remind me of one of my all-time heroes: Mister Rogers! Radmore’s voice is kind, nurturing, and encouraging – just like his was.”
Wow. What could be more flattering than a review like that? And the last part of his review goes like this: “The creativity of these stories shines through, as does the wonderful rhythm and rhyme and the emphasis on ‘creative thinking,’ another of Mister Rogers’ big themes.”
With this review in mind, I’d like to share some excerpts with you that I believe Mr. Soma could have been referring to.
“Today, why don’t you touch the sky, and move the clouds about?
Perhaps you’ll try to squeeze just one, and let some rain fall out.
What if folks around the world, could feel like family?
They’d help each other solve their needs, and live more happily.
“Our minds are full of many thoughts, ideas completely new.
I’m sure you have a lot yourself, Imagine That! You DO!”
I designed this poem to get youngsters thinking about what they could do if they just put their imagination to it. They could do wonders. This poem is encouraging, thought-provoking, and just like Mister Rogers did a lot of time, it’s all in rhyme!
Here’s another from Reading Is Fun! Imagine That! from a poem titled “The Music Makers”:
“Since instruments can cost a lot, let’s find another way.
We’ll use some well-made makeshift ones, that some of us can play.
I talked with several friends of mine and said to make or find,
Some different kinds of ‘instruments’ to play when they’re combined.”
Mister Rogers used song and music in his work, and this poem illustrates just that. It gives children ideas of homemade instruments to play and tells them how to make them. Spoons, bottles, cans, even rubber bands – they’re all game-changers for music-making!
If you were a fan of Mister Rogers and want to continue his legend with your children, I hope you’ll flip through the pages of my book and find something that brings you back to your childhood!
And if you’ve never heard of Mister Rogers, this book will give you an idea of who he was, intellectually and creatively. He was brilliant, and I am pleased to be compared to him.
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She would like to see them in all of California’s elementary schools.-Rosaline Turnbull Past President of the California Parent Teacher’s Association
Yours is a comforting voice during a challenging time. Your stories are charming. Each one is uniquely warm and inspiring, and the messages are uplifting for children and parents alike. The books deserve to be in homes across the country — and the world. They remind me of one of my all-time heroes: Mr. Rogers! They are kind, nurturing, and so encouraging.-Tom Soma Former Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities
I think these books are perfect for children. They are colorful, bright, and the illustrations are awesome. I regret there were no such books in my childhood.-Ludmila Levine Chairman of the American English Department
They are fun to read. Both the writings and drawings are original. They are amazing. There are so many things that could be learned. One student commented she was also learning about American culture.-YiLing Chen Taught Women English
practical, playful, serious, affectionate, enigmatic, and varied.-Claudine DeFaye Former Professor
These books are absolutely incredible. An excellent job of inspiring children’s creativity activities.-Mosun Johnston Smith Former Teacher
The detail and care you’ve put in these stories is remarkable. I celebrated the wonderful wisdom those students reflected to me while reading your books.-Andie Cunningham Instructor