This is the story of a young boy traveling to Market Street with his grandmother. He continues to question her about different things they see. This is a great story to teach children about being grateful and seeing beauty where they may be none. After reading this story have students analyze an abstract piece of art or a realistic picture and write about all that they see. Encourage them to think outside the ordinary. This would be a way to integrate art into literature.
Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers * Michael G. Long
I received an ARC copy of this ebook from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I have always loved and appreciated Fred Rogers as a gentle soul, who wanted us to love each other and treat each other with kindness and compassion. Everything I learned only made me appreciate him more--and this book, opening my eyes to his Christianity-based politics, was the icing on the cake.
Even as a child, I knew Rogers' inclusion of Francois Clemmons, the African-American police officer as a Mister Rogers' Neighborhood went against the social grain. From this book, I learned Clemmons was the first African-American with a regular role on a children's television series, joining before Northern Calloway (David), Matt Robinson (Gordon), and Loretta Long (Susan) on Sesame Street. I also learned Clemmons' hiring was a deliberate--loving, but deliberate--act, especially the wading pool scenes with him. Those shared soaking scenes were in direct protest to segregated swimming pools, and violent responses to integrated pools.
Mister Rogers resisted pressure from certain cast members to be more visibly and aggressively political, because they felt his responsibility was to his children and family audience; his neighborhood needed to be a quiet, safe place of learning, the one place in their lives where protests were not taking place, where no one was shouting, and where no one was making frightening ultimatums. Michael Long's book touched me, as a child of the '70's, in so many ways. This book would make a nice addendum to high school and college courses covering 1960's and 1970's cultural and social history. Highly recommended.
interview with Clemmons on NPR StoryCorps
There are terrific messages inside this book. I loved the way Nana shared her world with CJ, never preaching to him but showing him that there is something besides what you see on the outside. That you should judge something just by looking at it but you should discover more about that person or that item for everyone has a story or is more exciting than you think. She was patient person and she gave of herself. I also enjoyed the illustrations of the book, they showed lots of diversity and I loved the rich language the author used. The author strung words together to paint wonderful pictures in my mind as I read. Bright colors filled the pages with black font made this a wonderful storybook.
As CJ is ushered out of church one Sunday with his Nana, he is tired of the same routine and as his voice echoes his complaints; his Nana shows him that the world around him is more than just what he sees. CJ wants what other individuals have and he is tired of same routine every Sunday. He does not everything and as child, he does not understand why he cannot have the few things that he wants. Nana personality is friendly and warm as they make their way to their destination. The destination is half the fun as Nana enjoys showing CJ interesting people and items along the way. Trees and buses are not just everyday items in her world for she makes them come alive and fun for CJ. CJ is all ears as he takes in everything Nana is sharing and he offers questions and comments along the way. CJ’s horizon is expanding. By listening to Nana, he begins to realize that what they do have works for them. It fits their lifestyle and it’s perfect for them. As they finally reach their destination, having viewed the streets along this path in a new light, CJ has a new outlook on his life and beauty has a new definition.