Life Clues: Unlocking the Lessons to an Exceptional Life (Paperback)

Life Clues: Unlocking the Lessons to an Exceptional Life By Angela C. Santomero Cover Image
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The most profound lessons for adults come from the brilliant minds of kids.
Angela Santomero, creator of the Emmy Award-winning shows Blue’s Clues and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, has spent decades creating programming that makes kids feel seen and heard. That experience has shown her a simple truth: When we pay attention to the things kids do, we unlock the clues to an exceptional life.

In Life Clues, Angela uses that truth to show us how to look beyond the ordinary and find the extraordinary. She shares the lessons learned while earning her master’s degree in child development, during her many years in research, and throughout her incredible career creating and producing impactful kid’s programming. These 20 lessons, or clues, will help you unlock your passion, joy, happiness, and positive thinking.

About the Author

ANGELA C. SANTOMERO is the creator of 7 award-winning hit shows for  PBS, Nickelodeon, Netflix, Apple, and Amazon, an author, and a speaker. A protégé of Fred Rogers, she has devoted her life to empowering children and parents with her joyful, educational approach. She lives in New York City with her husband and two young adult daughters, from whom she still gets daily inspiration. 

Praise For…

"In the world of children's television, Angela C. Santomero stands as a beacon of creativity and wisdom. Whether it is a talking blue puppy or an endearing striped tiger, I have been endlessly inspired by the worlds she has created and the connections her characters have made with young children. Having had the honor of collaborating with her on iconic series like Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, I witnessed firsthand her unparalleled vision and innovative storytelling techniques. Angela's profound understanding of children is a deeply ingrained passion that permeates every story she weaves. She has always made the creative work look deceptively simple, but the thought and care she puts into her work sets her apart as a trailblazer in the industry.  May this book serve as a source of inspiration for all who turn its pages and search for clues." - Sarah Wallendjack, Senior Director of Content Development, PBS KIDS

Children’s television creator Santomero offers advice for adults in this motivational guide.

“What is true for children is true for all of us,” asserts the author, the co-creator of the Blue’s Clues franchise as well as the creator of the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Super Why! children’s television shows. In this book, Santomero outlines 20 “life clues,” concepts for adults to ponder while relating how these principles were weaved into her programs. A protégé of Fred Rogers, Santomero starts things off with Life Clue #1, “I Like You Just the Way You Are,” discussing how the venerable children’s show host’s affirming statement bolstered the author’s self-esteem as a child and ultimately inspired her future career. From there, Santomero takes readers through the remaining clues, including “Take a Moment,” “Always Try to Find Something Good,” “Cultivate Routines,” and “Be Like Daniel Tiger and Buddy Up,” sharing research studies, her own life experiences, and examples from her shows to convey the value of the behaviors under discussion. “Many of the things our adult minds are telling us are complicated really aren’t,” observes Santomero, who makes a convincing argument to follow the simple yet important precepts that play out in her children’s programming in adult life. While not all readers may take the time to piece together the bolded words that she has seeded throughout the text to “unveil a message to be shared with everyone,” the author offers plenty of serious self-development guidance, as well as pithy tips like “Don’t Say Fun—Be Fun.”

Uplifting encouragement to tap into uncomplicated core principles and nurture one’s inner child.  - Kirkus Reviews

Encouraging people to step back from the chaos and complexity of adulthood and renew their childhood senses of wonder, Life Clues is an exuberant self-help text that leads by example.

Angela C. Santomero was fascinated with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in her childhood to the extent that it shaped her later career. In her vulnerable and fanciful self-help book Life Clues, she draws on her personal experiences as the creator of Blue’s Clues and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood to share guileless insights into living an exceptional life.

Having gone from being a fan of Fred Rogers’s to designing children’s programming that reflected his values, Santomero seeks to remind adults of his wisdom. “A zillion years later, here’s what still surprises me,” Santomero beams: “I’m now an enthusiastic grown-up student of many of the same lessons I was tasked to impart to children.” Her book features twenty value-based “clues” to unlocking one’s potential, including play, laughter, and fun. Throughout, it draws inspiration from the unfiltered exuberance of children, treating them as the embodiment of pure joy. And it complements its insights with anecdotes about being a mother and with childhood memories.

The book’s language is lighthearted and clear. It tackles complex concepts in a revealing manner, and its chapters—which are headed by Rogers’s own sentiments, here repackaged for grown-ups—are succinct but effective. Its introduction to self-improvement and wellness concepts is lighthearted; indeed, it is at its most specific and direct when it comes to reflecting the philosophies of Fred Rogers himself, wherein it is concise but powerful, encouraging people to accept themselves as they are, to reach out and help others, and to pay attention to what piques their interest.

The book’s design is spacious but encouraging, as with the breathers between chapters designed to help people absorb the preceding lessons. To increase engagement, a puzzle runs throughout the book, which places important terms in bold print; when read in order, these terms reveal an encouraging message. This whimsy replicates the overarching theme of seeking inspiration from youthfulness. References to scientific journals and field experts are used to build credibility. But at times, chapters’ endnotes seem to deviate from their topics, as when, in concluding the chapter on self-acceptance, the book advises, “Music is therapeutic. It can change your mood almost instantaneously. When you need an extra boost, go to power ballads with strong, uplifting, hopeful lyrics that will immerse you in a world of positivity.”

A playful self-help book, Life Clues encourages taking a young-at-heart approach to living a successful and happy life.

Reviewed by Allison Janicki, Foreword Clarion Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9780829456349
ISBN-10: 0829456341
Publisher: 4U2B Books & Media
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 160
Language: English