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Making Friends (Mr. Rogers)


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Producer, magician, writer, puppeteer, minister, husband, father, Fred Rogers started out in children's television thirty years ago. The direction he trailblazed was the "creation of television programming that spoke, with respect, to the concerns of early childhood, not as adults see it but as children feel it."

He has received virtually every major award in the television industry for work in his field, and dozens of others from special-interest groups.Fred Rogers lives in Pennsylvania.


PreS-Gr 1 Children beginning ``to share themselves with others'' as they change from playing side by side to playing together is the theme of Making Friends. In it a preschool boy and girl are shown squabbling over toys and struggling to be first on the slide ladder, as well as sharing laughs, secrets, and tea parties. The soothing text explains how friends can make you feel left out, angry, and sad and also how they can bring joy and variety into life. A multitude of successful books on friendship is available, but as a child-oriented psychological commentary on its meaning, this excels. Moving examines the fears, sadnesses, and excitements of a boy about three years old when he leaves one house and set of friends for another. He is shown helping to pack, meeting the movers, settling into his new room, exploring his new neighborhood, and telephoning an old friend. The large, brightly-colored photographs in both books are very natural in their depiction of children in play clothes in everyday settings. In Making Friends all ethnic groups are depicted, and one child wears thick glasses. Both formats are well-designed and varied, with large clear print. The writing is gentle, empathetic, and conversational. It encourages communication with parents and friends. Altogether, text and pictures in both books exude a knowledgeable reassurance designed to comfort both child and parent in potentially traumatic situations. These two books should be available to everyone who works with preschoolers. Patricia Pearl, First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, Va.

From its opening lines (``When people like each other and like to do things together, they're friends. Can you think of someone who's your friend?''), Rogers's inimitable voice reaches out to his small readers with understanding and reassurance. He describes the pleasures of friendship as well as potential problem areas (``When your friend decides to play with someone else for a while, do you ever feel that you aren't friends anymore?'') and helpful solutions (``Well, to be friends, the same people don't have to play together all the time. . . ''). Judkis's large color photos capture the range of emotions Rogers writes about. One of several First Experience titles, this volume addresses a serious issue with sensitivity and compassion. Ages 26. (May)

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