Allison's Book Bag

Let’s Talk About It: Adoption by Fred Rogers

Posted on: September 29, 2012

Cover of "Let's Talk About It: Adoption (...

Cover via Amazon

Being Canadian, I didn’t grow up on Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. Yet not long after I moved to the United States, I had heard many praises of both the show and the man behind the screen. His positive legacy is that strong. And so, I felt curious to read Let’s Talk About It: Adoption by Fred Rogers.

According to the preface, Fred Roger’s sister “was adopted into our family when I was eleven years old”. Her adoption knocked him out of the elite position of being an only child. “Understanding all of that came very gradually for me–and for my sister.” Hence, the book Let’s Talk About It: Adoption, in which Fred Rogers invites parents and their children to talk about adoption.

Now something you need to keep in mind is that Mister Roger’s Neighborhood was aimed at young children from ages two to five. This is also about the age I’d consider appropriate for Let’s Talk About It: Adoption. Most pages have one sentence or sometimes or even only half a sentence. The page with the most text has only four sentences. The phrasing is simple and gentle: “Everyone has lots of feelings about being in a family. There are times when you feel happy. And there are times when you don’t feel happy.” Anyone who grew up with fond memories of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, or simply want a safe book with which to start a discussion about adoption, will appreciate the calm and comforting style of Let’s Talk About It: Adoption.

Through this book, children will learn that everyone needs a family, being in a family means belonging, and one can belong to family by being born into or by being adopted. Rogers refers to adoption as “a special kind of love story” where the parents needed and wanted a child to love and the child needed parents to love and care for him. Rogers assures his young readers that ALL families have good and bad times; being angry doesn’t mean that love will go away. He tells them that the reasons they can’t stay with their birth parents all have to do with adult reasons, not with anything they did. He also says that if they have questions, it helps to talk.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s Talk About It: Adoption would make a good book to start with for younger readers. If you’re looking for a book for older readers, I’d encourage you to turn to other books in my round-up. Many of them will also appeal to a broader range of ages.  They will also will provide a more concrete overview of the process.

PS Being Canadian, I grew up on Mr. Dressup instead of Mister Rogers. In doing author research for this review, I found it interesting to learn that Rogers was friends with Ernie Coombs, the creator of Mr. Dressup, which is considered similar in many ways to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Mr. Dressup also used some of the songs that were later featured on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

My rating? Read it: Borrow from your library or a friend. It’s worth your time.

How would you rate this book?

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