Joshua’s Bookshelf!: Welcome to the Neighborhood, by Becky Friedman

[This review is based on the paperback edition published by the Simon Spotlight imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division in 2014.]

So what’s it about?
Welcome to the Neighborhood is a new story based on the popular PBS Kids program, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Daniel and his friend, Prince Wednesday, find out from King Friday that a special visitor is coming to the neighborhood! They want to through the mystery visitor a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” party, so they visit various neighbors and friends, asking each person to make or bring something to the party. Who the visitor turns out to be, however, I’ll leave for you to find out!

What did we think of the book?
First of all, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is one of Joshua’s favorite TV shows. He loves Daniel and all of his little friends and I mean, how could you not? They’re adorable!

(Left to right: Miss Elaina, Prince Wednesday, Daniel Tiger, Katerina Kittycat, O the Owl)
Image via Mom It Forward

Because Joshua was already familiar with the characters, he wanted to point out each of them on every page. (The illustrations, by the way, are pulled straight from the show, so every parent who has seen the show will feel like they’re experiencing deja vu while reading this book…but it’s a pleasant deja vu, I promise!) He wanted me to read the book as though we were watching the show, doing all of the voices — including the Trolley’s famous “Ding ding!” — and singing the trolley song every time Daniel and his friends buckled up. The kids imagine that the special visitor is a rock star, a dinosaur, and a superhero; these figures could be great pretend-play figures for your children!

Would we add it to Joshua’s bookshelf?
The story is simple, the artwork is familiar, and the show is great. Joshua loves it, I love it, and the book will probably find itself in Joshua’s memory box when he outgrows it. It’s staying with us!

To learn more about Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, visit PBS Kids!