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THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHIVE - All Things Mister Rogers

When Monsters Seem Real

 

WRITTEN BY: Fred Rogers
ILLUSTRATOR: Pat Sustendal
PUBLISHED: 1988
PUBLISHER: Random House
SERIES: A Story From Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
ISBN: 0394887816

Cover and interior photographs by Walt Seng
Copyright © 1988 Family Communications, Inc.

 


Summary

Daniel Tiger, Ana Platypus, and Prince Tuesday are pretending as they walk to school. Ana talks about her superskirt which allows her to fly and Prince Tuesday tells about his super spoon which can ward of monsters. He mentions a dream he had where a dinosaur came to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and the spoon is what protected everyone from the creature.

Cynical as always, Lady Elaine will not stand for Tuesday's ridiculous claim and insists that the only thing in the Neighborhood that can keep monsters away is her boomerang. The children continue on their way to school as Lady Elaine decides to play a trick on Prince Tuesday.

The next day, as the children are playing, a "dinosaur" appears nearby and frightens the children. As King Friday and Queen Sara come to help, Lady Elaine uses her boomerang to make the dinosaur disappear.

Queen Sara finds this to be very curious as the only one with the ability to appear and disappear like that is Purple Panda. King Friday issues an all-out search for Purple Panda or the dinosaur. While most everyone comes up empty-handed, Queen Sara sets out a bowl of purple pumpernickel pudding in hopes of luring Purple Panda. Sure enough, the pudding is too much for Purple Panda to resist.

As he gobbles down the pudding, he explains to the King and Queen that he is tired of being a dinosaur and was unaware that he would be scaring people by wearing the costume.

It becomes clear to Lady Elaine that her idea of a joke is not funny to anyone besides herself. To celebrate the fact that there are no monsters in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, the group polishes of the rest of the purple pumpernickel pudding.


A Note To Parents from Fred Rogers

Learning to recognize feelings and finding appropriate ways to express them are important steps in any child's growth. Pretending can be a big help to children as they work to understand more about feelings, but grownups sometimes need to clarify for children just where pretend stops and reality begins. That's on reason why, in both our storybooks and television programs, we keep the Neighborhood of Make-Believe separate from our "real" neighborhood. In Make-Believe, we pretend about certain things that couldn't happen in real life...and make it clear that that's what we're doing.

Each book in this series tells a story about feelings. Some of those feelings are happy ones and some aren't -- jealousy and anger, for instance. Strong feelings can be hard to talk about, but pretending about them can make it easier. We hope that these stories will help you talk about feeligns in your family. Though the stories are only make-believe, the feelings are real, and children need to know that having feelings of all kinds is a very real part of what makes us human beings.


Notes

  • This book was the basis of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe story found in episodes 1466-1470 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Variations


Appearing In This Book

Mister Rogers | Ana Platypus | Daniel Striped Tiger | Prince Tuesday | Lady Elaine Fairchilde | King Friday XIII | Queen Sara Saturday | Cornflake S. Pecially | Harriett Elizabeth Cow | X the Owl | Henrietta Pussycat | Purple Panda

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Corner image by Spencer Fruhling. Used with permission.
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