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

  • 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...

  • The Food Network Open Casting Call for Home Cooks

    2014.10.25
     @ My Cooking Party

    FOOD NETWORK’S TOP CELEBRITY CHEFS ARE SCOURING THE NATION IN SEARCH OF AMAZING HOME COOKS! You’ve watched them on TV, bought their...

  • YMCA of Greenwich Harvest Art Week

    2014.10.18
     @ YMCA of Greenwich

    YMCA of Greenwich Harvest Art Week October 18 - 26, 2014 Join us for a week-long celebration of local art! Showcasing established and emerging...

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • 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...

  • Greenwich Hospital Gala

    2014.10.25
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    It will be a Gala worthy of a doge when retiring Greenwich Hospital president and CEO, Frank A. Corvino, will be presented with the...

  • 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...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • The Wilton Fall Antiques Market

    2014.10.26
     @ Wilton High School Field House

    Barnstar Productions and the Wilton Historical Society will present the Wilton Antiques Market. More than 80 exhibitors are expected to...

  • Trunk-or-Treat For UNICEF

    2014.10.26
     @ Island Beach Parking Lot

    U.S Fund for UNICEF Greenwich Committee invites you to the 1st annual Trunk-or-Treat for UNICEF Join friends and neighbors for an afternoon of...

  • La Soirée d’ Automne at Bistro Versailles

    2014.10.27
     @ Bistro Versailles and Patisserie

    Wine dinners at Bistro Versailles are entertaining social events held on a regular basis. Socialize with friends and mingle with other attendees...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Explore the Bruce Museum

    2014.10.28
     @ Stamford JCC

    Join us at the Bruce Museum for a private tour of the inaugural showing in the U.S. of “Northern Baroque Splendor: The Hohenbuchau Collection...

  • Educational Seminar - Effective Resume Writing & Interviewing Skills

    2014.10.29
     @ Greenwich Library

    Are you sure you are putting your best foot forward in your job hunt?  What will make employers pick your resume and ask you for an interview?...

  • Meet Bestselling Author Ayelet Waldman

    2014.10.30
     @ Organic Planet

    On October 30 at 10am, JCC Greenwich will present New York Times bestselling author Ayelet Waldman, who will discuss her latest novel Love and...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    FLINN GALLERY Opening Reception 'IN FOCUS' Thursday October 30, 6 - 8pm Seven artists share their visions - Carolyn Conrad,...

  • 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...

  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

    2014.11.01
     @ Second Congregational Church

    Event Will Include Hay Mazes, Games, Crafts, Food, Holiday Shopping The community is invited to a Harvest Fair and Gift Show on Saturday, Nov....


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. Henry & Me
    Greenwich
  2. B2B Blast Off Event
    Greenwich
  3. Go For Pink
    Greenwich Avenue
  4. Joie Shopping Event
    Joie Greenwich
  5. GRTA Hunt Ball Patron Party
    Conyers Farms