Like millions of children who grew up in the United States in the last fifty years, I watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. We loved the show in my house. I was transfixed by his visitors, his calm tone, his sweaters and shows, the trolley, and his puppets, most of all. And having watched him and his show for many years, I thought I knew everything there was to know about Fred Rogers. He was a nice, quiet man who loved children and performing. What else was there to know?
Turns out, a LOT. A couple of years ago, I read Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King and was blown away by all the things I learned about Mister Rogers. I knew he was a good man for the camera, but he may be one of the very few people to achieve fame, and still have been a genuinely good person off-camera too. And maybe that’s the secret to why he’s still important to so many of us so long after he’s been gone.
So here are several books and other gifts that highlight great things about Fred Rogers, including Mister Rogers quotes, picture books, and even a talking figurine. They’re perfect for fans of Mister Rogers, young and old.
Gifts for Mister Rogers Fans
This sweet little gift book is a collection of quotes from Fred Rogers about love, friendship, respect, individuality, and honesty. They've been gathered from speeches, program transcripts, books, letters, and interviews, and even some of Fred Rogers' never-before-published writings. It makes a perfect graduation gift or something to give someone who needs a bit of kindness and guidance in their life.
This hardbound journal, featuring a cartoon illustration of one of Mister Rogers' famous cardigans on the front, contains lined blank pages, perfect for writing down your own bits of wisdom and observations. And it is decorated throughout with photographs from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, as well as memorable quotes and song lyrics from the show.
The guidance and wisdom of Fred Rogers is only the push of a button away with the fun talking figurine of Mister Rogers with his beloved trolley. Hear him tell you "There's no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are," "You've made this day a special day by just your being you," and more. It also comes with a 32-page flipbook filled with more encouragement.
Personalize this book for someone special in your life, by filling in the Mister Rogers' quotes just for them. With such quotes as "You make each day a special day when you ______" and "Having you in my life means ______" there will be no mistaking that this gift book, complete with full-color illustrations, was meant just for them.
This is another lovely little book of wisdom, straight from the mouth of Fred Rogers, aimed at parents. Mister Rogers had a lot of wonderful advice about children. He knew what it was like to be a parent, having raised children of his own, and this book collects some of his compassionate advice in one place.
This is a beautifully illustrated look behind the scenes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, including never-before-scene photographs of the set, as well as interviews with notable guests and the cast and crew. It also includes an introduction by Tom Hanks, who most recently starred as Fred Rogers in the biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
And this is a comprehensive, eye-opening look at the life of Fred Rogers. From his extremely privileged childhood to his love for performing, the creation of his show, his life as a father, his daily swims, and his activism for the small voices that don’t get heard, this biography will leave you with a new admiration for Fred Rogers.
What to Read Next
Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.