Our Small World is a 1954 book written by Josie Carey and Fred Rogers. The book is a companion to Fred’s first television program, Children’s Corner. Puppet characters Daniel Striped Tiger, King Friday XIII, Grandpere, Lady Elaine Fairchilde, and X the Owl also claim authorship. Each has written a chapter for the book telling his or her backstory. The book also contains a play for children to perform if they wish. The play stars the characters from the Attic, another segment of the Children’s Corner program. The book concludes with the music and lyrics for some favorite songs from the television program.
Through Our Small World we learn more about the puppet characters that would later inhabit the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Daniel Striped Tiger writes about his love for hamburgers and hosting parties. He even includes his favorite recipes for different types of hamburgers—some edible, some not. Then King Friday writes about his childhood and royal education. Grandpere writes the next chapter, which includes plenty of French. Tame Tigers, a club of Children’s Corner viewers, learned many French words from Grandpere. Then Lady Elaine Fairchilde writes about being a professional bridesmaid and an expert in the heel-toe method of walking. X the Owl reveals the origin of his name—it’s short for “Escape!” All of the puppets’ stories are humorous and reflective of their personalities.
This is a charming book that offers insight into the Children’s Corner characters in a fun way. It is one of the most entertaining items in the Archive, but also a good reference for researchers who are interested in learning more about the puppets.