A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Fred Rogers
First line of the book: Once upon a time, a little boy loved a stuffed animal whose name was Old Rabbit.
Summary and thoughts: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was a read that left me in tears in some parts and left me doing a lot of self-reflection at the end. The book begins with an essay written by Tom Junod, a journalist who spent time with television star Fred Rogers, better known as Mr. Rogers. Junod follows Rogers around New York City and his hometown. It details what Rogers likes to do, how he maintains his weight and why, just stuff that makes him Fred Rogers. Rogers tells Junod about his upbringing and the charitable deeds being a celebrity has offered him the chance of doing. Advice from Mr. Fred Rogers took over after the essay. It is split up into different parts so the right advice would fit under a certain category. The guidance he offered were rarely more than a couple of sentences, a paragraph at most. He talks about how to reflect on your own childhood, how to form meaningful connections with your child and their educators/caretakers, discipline, and adulthood.
The essay was a beautiful read as we see that Rogers really is one of the rare few who are the same off-screen as they are on-screen, maybe even better. I liked that the essay was good at showing the human aspects of Fred Rogers. The advice portion was my favorite part. What I adored was that a lot of the advice tied to love. Whether it be showing love to others or to yourself, he emphasizes the importance of both. As long as you are surrounded by love from childhood to adulthood, you will be just fine. This resonates with me as I find lack of love to be prevalent in this world. I appreciate how he goes into compassion, empathy, meaningful relationships, and accountability in such a sensitive and careful way that it is easy for anyone to understand. This was a cute and needed read. It made me want to be better for myself.