Fred's Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers
Fred's Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers

Fred's Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers

Written by Laura Renauld & illustrated by Brigette Barrager
4 - 8
Reading age
Page count
Words per page
Lexile measure
Jan 14, 2020
Publication date

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What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

A meaningful contribution to the growing body of work sharing Mister Rogers’ inspiring life and message that will delight readers of all ages.

In the midst of detailed articles, an award-winning documentary (Won’t You Be My Neighbor?), and an acclaimed feature film (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), this picture book biography about Fred Rogers not only holds its own but adds to the body of quality media paying tribute to an exemplary life. Opening with a depiction of Rogers’ iconic set for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood—complete with his familiar sneakers sitting unlaced by the bench—it flashes back to Rogers’ childhood. With beautiful alliterations, the biography describes Rogers’ discovery of music as an outlet for his strong emotions: “Worry fretted and fussed . . . and faded.” And “Sadness wailed and whimpered . . . and waned.” The story also notes the impact of his Grandfather McFeely’s reassurance: “You made this day a really special day just by being yourself . . . and I happen to like you just the way you are.” Tracking Rogers’ life through influential episodes in high school, college, and early television programming, it climaxes with Rogers’ visit to the U.S. Capitol, where his recital of his song “What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel?” secures public funding for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for years to come. Throughout, Renauld skillfully weaves memorable stories with Rogers’ theme of coping with emotions, while Barrager’s gouache and colored-pencil illustrations are whimsical and fittingly full of emotion, displayed literally on many pages with waves of hearts and lines flowing from Rogers.

What Kind of Book is Fred's Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers

Primarily about

biographyfeelings and emotions

Where Does This Book Stand Out

  • Thoughtful Citizen

    The “Thoughtful Citizen” badge is awarded to recognize exceptional books that promote exemplary citizenship.

  • Everyday Core Feeling

    The “Everyday Core Feeling” badge is awarded to exceptional books addressing common but powerful feelings.


    Interior Spread
    Neighborhood of Make-Believe Spread
    The Final Spread
    Images from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, highlighting a variety of feelings.
    Mister Rogers heads to Capitol Hill to save funding for public broadcasting.

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • When Mister Rogers was a boy, he expressed his feelings through music. How do you express yourself when you are happy? Sad? Angry? Excited?
  • Freddy's grandfather gave him a life-changing message: "I happen to like you just the way you are." Describe a time when kind words changed your day.
  • Fred Rogers learned that one person can make a big difference in someone else's life. How are you helpful in your family? Your school? Your community?


Book Lists That Include This Book

The Creatives Behind the Book

What Has Laura Renauld Said About This Book

Nothing yet! Let Laura Renauld know that you want to hear from them about their book.

What Has Brigette Barrager Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date
January 14, 2020
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Text Details
The text for this book was set in Bookman.
Illustration Details
The illustrations for this book were rendered in gouache, colored pencil, and Photoshop.
Page Count
Words Per Page
Reading Age
4 - 8 years
Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
WorldCat Number (OCLC)
Est. Lexile® Level
Est. Fountas & Pinnell Level
ATOS® Book Level
Accelerated Reader® Points
Accelerated Reader Quiz
Accelerated Reader Interest Level

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