"Won't you be my neighbor?" This question framed Fred Rogers's powerful, revolutionary television program and is a siren song for several generations of American children. But with the show off the air now for several decades and a world marked by "rapid social and technological change," children's advocate and founder of the Remake Learning educational network Gregg Behr and education reporter Ryan Redzewski realized that "the tools for learning that Fred Rogers taught would grow more and more essential."
When You Wonder, You're Learning is filled with scenes from the television show, interviews with Rogers's coworkers and collaborators, and framed with a foreword by his wife, Joanne Rogers. Parents and educators alike will find insight into how lessons around curiosity, wonder, striving and failing, and connecting with other people are still relevant to the development of children today. Each of the six chapters helpfully concludes with a "What might you do" section, providing questions and activities to help adults practice the lessons they've just read.
Through dynamic analysis and exercises, Behr and Rydzewski suggest that things like curiosity and connection made the Neighborhood into a place where, in the words of actress Mary Rawson (Cousin Mary Owl on the show), "violence and war, hatred and intolerance are not painted out of the picture but neither are they allowed to destroy the canvas." It gave viewers hope that "the canvas was worth defending"--a hope readers will find as well. --Michelle Anya Anjirbag, freelance reviewer