Angela's Answers: Mister Rogers for the Next Generation



photograph by William Taufic

I want you to imagine a four-year-old little girl who would sit in front of the television every day and talk to Mister Rogers. She learned how crayons were made, what to do with the “mad that she feels,” that there are “many ways to say I love you” and most important, she learned that Mister Rogers “liked her just the way she was.” That little girl was me.

Because of Mister Rogers, I grew up knowing how powerful television can be for preschool children. I studied child developmental psychology, like Fred Rogers, and I wanted to create interactive, educational shows that would help kids learn, just as Mister Roger’s Neighborhood did for me.

And now, my life has come full circle as my newest television show, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, the spin off of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, is set to premiere on PBS Kids on September 3.

I have been playing, writing and creating in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe for the past six years. As Fred’s No. 1 fan, I already had a story made up for all of the characters from the “Neighborhood of Make-Believe.” I just knew that Daniel Tiger grew up, got married, moved to Jungle Beach and had a son named Daniel. Of course, he wears a little red sweater and sneakers, just like Mister Rogers did. Lady Elaine marries Music Man Stan in the neighborhood and has a four-year-old named Miss Elaina who likes to do everything backwards. X the Owl has a smart little nephew O the Owl who says, “Nifty Galifty.” Henrietta has a ballerina daughter Katerina Kittycat who speaks in the famous “Meow Meow” language. And King Friday and Queen Sara Saturday have a rambunctious son named Prince Wednesday. All of the kids are four years old, and play and learn together in the neighborhood.  

The show is all about life’s little ups and downs. Musical strategies are sung throughout every episode, which deal with learning how to express your feelings (“When you feel so mad you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four!”), how to share (“You can take a turn, and then I will get it back!”), deal with disappointment (“When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good!”).

They say that everything you needed to know you learned in kindergarten. But I believe everything we needed to know we learned from Mister Rogers. And I’m so proud that Fred’s legacy can live on in a new neighborhood. Joanne, Fred’s widow, has been quoted as saying, “I am so excited about the show because the old feeling is there. I’d been anxious not knowing what to expect, but, oh, Daniel is just so cute. I can’t imagine everybody won’t love him, and I’m delighted.”

The four-year-old girl in me is singing, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood….”  For a sneak peek of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, go to  pbskids.org/daniel/; for behind the scenes information go to AngelasClues.com.

Mother of two, Angela Santomero is the creator, writer and producer of children’s uber-hits Blue’s Clues and Super Why! Every month Angela offers her advice and observations on being a mom and an executive in children’s television while balancing and learning from both worlds.  

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Isaia Fall Trunk Show

    2014.09.19
     @ Richards

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • SoulCycle GWCH for Make-A-Wish CT

    2014.09.20
     @ SoulCycle

    Make-A-Wish Connecticut is thrilled to be partnering with SoulCycle's Greenwich location for a charity ride on Saturday, September 20th!...

  • Wall Street Tennis Challenge

    2014.09.20
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    The goal of The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts while spreading awareness...

  • Nam Cho Trunk Show

    2014.09.20
     @ Richards

  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford

    2014.09.20
     @ Bedford Street

    Shop at over 100 craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street, which will be closed to traffic for the weekend. Dine in our extended sidewalk...

  • Puttin’ On The Dog Festival

    2014.09.21
     @ Roger Sherman Baldwin Park

    Puttin’ On The Dog Festival Greenwich, Connecticut the place to be on September 21st for dogs and their owners...

  • Candy Fairies Book Reading

    2014.09.21
     @ Imagine Candy

    SCARSDALE, NY, Imagine Candy brings the acclaimed children's author Helen Perelman, the writer of the wickedly sweet Candy Fairies book...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • "Israel and the U.S."

    2014.09.22
     @ New Canaan Library

    The public is invited to attend a World Affairs Forum Great Decisions event featuring Seth Anziska, Columbia University. Mr. Anziska will speak...

  • Holistic Health Practitioner Kevin W. Reese

    2014.09.24
     @ Meli-Melo

    Meet Holistic Health Practitioner Kevin W. Reese & Take Home a Signed Copy of His New Book! Kevin is a holistic health practitioner,...

  • Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.25
     @ Milbrook Club

    Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon will be held at Milbrook Club. Registration 11:30am; start at...


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. American Red Cross: Red and White Ball 2014
    NetJets Hangar at Westchester County Airport
  2. Fashion Day Out
    September 13, 11am to 6pm
  3. Stars of Greenwich
    Meet the founders of the Greenwich International Film Festival
  4. Twelfth Annual New York Smile Event
    Cipriani Wall Street
  5. 5 Key Pieces To Buy Now
    Buy now and wear all season