Celebrating Mister Rogers’ Legacy of Kindness + a Giveaway

Introducing my newest book:

You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood (releasing from Abrams Books on August 6, 2019). Art by Matt Phelan: www.mattphelan.com

I wasn’t able to watch the television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood until I
became a mother, so my eldest child and I got to know it together. We learned the opening and closing songs, and Rachel looked forward to the puppets’ new adventures in each episode. 

As a teacher, I was impressed by how much Fred respected children.
He told them the truth. He also showed them that all of their feelings were manageable.
I aspired to build the emotional foundation of our home firmly on the kind of unconditional
acceptance that Fred Rogers demonstrated.  

Day after day, we listened as Mister Rogers looked right
into the camera and shared his time-honored message: “You’ve made this day a
special day by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like
you, and I like you just the way you are.”*

 

illustration of Freddie Rogers and Grandpa McFeely (c) Matt Phelan

As I researched my book, I was fascinated to discover that these words were shared with Fred by his Grandpa McFeely. They stayed with Mister Rogers throughout his life. In fact, the quotation above comes directly from Fred Rogers’ public testimony to the United States senate on behalf of public television. 

The last image of the book is of Fred Rogers looking out at the reader—just as he connected with us one-by-one through his television program—and repeating his grandpa’s message.

My hope in writing You Are My Friend is that readers everywhere will receive those words and allow them to sink deep within. No matter our ages, we all need to hear them.

You are valuable and important—just as you are.

Giveaway:

I’m giving away four signed copies of You Are My Friend, one to each of four winners. 

Here’s how to enter:

You can enter the draw a total of four times, once in each of the following ways.

  • Comment on this blog post
  • Retweet my pinned tweet about the giveaway:
    @aimeereidbooks
  • Tag someone on my Instagram post about the
    giveaway: @aimeereidbooks
  • Share my post from my Facebook author page about
    the giveaway: https://m.facebook.com/aimeereidbooks

The giveaway closes at 12:00 noon EST on August 13, 2019, and I will contact the winners. 

* Fred Rogers, testimony, Extension of Authorizations under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. Hearings, Ninety-first Congress, first session, S. 1242; April 30 and May 1, 1969. Senate Committee on Commerce, Subcommittee on Communications, Washington, D.C.

 

You Are My Friend is a work of fiction. This book is an expression of admiration of Fred Rogers, the man and the artist, by the author and illustrator. This book is not associated with or endorsed by The Fred Rogers Company. 
 

 

The Best Part (and a Holiday Offer)

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I met Veronica at one of my author visits. She loved trying on my Little Gray puppet. After the program, Veronica’s mom, Emily, shared with me that they had been enjoying Mama’s Day with Little Gray at home. Veronica even had a favorite line: “Mmm,” said Mama. “I know I’d feel safe.” 

Moments like these are the very best part of being an author. I realize the honor of being a part of this family’s time together. I feel blessed every time people tell me a story about their connection to my book: one mom sent a copy to her son who is now researching animal habitat; one toddler sleeps with a copy of the book in their bed; other children have memorized Little Gray’s lines and like to surprise their parents with his questions, knowing that they’ll hear reassuring words in return.

Stories like these are why I linger over autographs, imagining the children for whom I’m inscribing books and wishing them joy. They’re why this year I’m giving myself the gift of extending a special holiday offer to you.

If you would like to send an autographed copy of Mama’s Day with Little Gray to someone, send me a note through the contact form on my website.Let me know the name of the person for whom you’re buying a book along with the shipping address. I’ll autograph a copy of the book, include a personal message to the recipient, and send it on its way. I’ll even wrap it in some foil paper!

Payment can be made by sending a cheque or through online options such as PayPal or email transfers. For $20.00 (which includes wrapping and shipping), you can send a unique, personalized gift to someone on your list. Happy giving!