When I was a little girl, I was completely obsessed with Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. My mom tells stories about me sitting on the floor in front of the TV and answering every question he asked and telling him I loved him. He did an incredible job of making his child viewers believe that he was speaking directly to them, and that he cared about us. That show holds such special memories for me. It was a moral, good, entertaining program - in my opinion, the quintessential children's show of our time.
Yesterday morning, Husby had to work, so while the rest of the world was celebrating Labor Day, it was any ole Monday for us. Levi watches Sid the Science Kid every morning on PBS and as I turned it on for him, I noticed a new show was on.
I sat down to check it out and was hooked within the first minute. The show was about a little boy tiger named Daniel Tiger and the little adventures he goes on. He has a little make believe land with all kinds of fun friends and places to see. Also, he rides a trolly wherever he needs to go around town. There is a moral to each story, along with a catch little ditty to help you remember what that moral and the theme of the episode is. Levi and I were both glued to the television, seeing what little Daniel would do next. We were both singing the little songs!
"When something seems bad, turn it around, and find something good!"
"When we do something new, let's talk about what we'll do!"
(I can't tell you how catchy these songs are. We were singing them all day long. And then for Daddy when he got home!)
The show finally came to a close and the little tiger sat down next to his toy trolly, took off his shoes, changed sweaters and sang, It's Such a Good Feeling. I stopped what I was doing, cranked up the volume and watched the little Tiger do exactly what Mr. Rogers used to do ... and tears actually came to my eyes.
Immediately, I googled the new show and found that it is produced by the Fred Rogers Company and that it is a loose spinoff of the classic Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. I don't know I didn't catch it before with all the hints that were thrown my way. The sweater, the trolly, the characters ... I must've been in lala land. But as I sat there watching that precious little tiger sing that song, I was absolutely thrilled at the thought of my children getting to experience a piece of Mr. Rogers in their childhood, just like their Daddy and I did.
Another episode came on and this time we caught the intro song (we hadn't for the first one). We also saw the name of the show, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Daniel Tiger put on his red sweater and tennis shoes and sings the catchy It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, jumps on his trolley and a new upbeat version kicks in that is original to the new cartoon. Levi was confused as I sang along, not knowing how I knew it! I explained to him about watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood when I was a little girl his age, and he listened and asked questions with a big smile on his face.
I am so very excited about this new show. It is special, I think, because it's definitely intended for parents to watch along because there are several nods to Mr. Rogers himself throughout the episodes. The characters in the show are the children of the puppets in The Land of Make Believe that we grew up watching.
Do you remember the Daniel Tiger puppet from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood?
Well, he grew up and got married and they had little Daniel Tiger, who the new program is all about.
(There are also several other characters including an owl, and Prince Wednesday, who, of course, is an heir to King Friday.)
(And something fun I noticed is that little Daniel Tiger always wears a watch, just like his daddy.)
The generation who knew and loved Mr. Rogers best are now the ones with children at the ideal age to watch this special little show. I love that Mr. Rogers lives on. He was such a magical part of my childhood, and I hope now, my baby boys can say the same.
Would you be mine .... could you be mine .... won't you be, my neighbor.