Did you hear the news? I’m sure that’s something you’ve heard or have said a lot lately and most likely it’s something tragic. Just this past weekend all of the disgusting madness with the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville Virginia (which is not very far from where we live by the way) was plastered all over the news and social media. The world has got to stop acting like racism doesn’t exist and do something about it. What to do? I don’t know exactly, but for starters this country can stop pretending like everything is fine and stop defending things (confederate flags, racist statues, etc) as just being apart of history. That doesn’t make it okay.
There are so many things that are wrong in this world and I’m sad that I’ll have to constantly try and explain it to my kids. It’s so heartbreaking that there is so much hatred and people can just sit and ignore it like it’s not really happening. Honestly it’s not even shocking to me anymore which is quite sad. It’s draining.
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from the author to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way. We always share things that we find beneficial to our readers and things that the kids and I love. I was not compensated for this post. Affiliate links are in this post. I will receive compensation if you purchase a book via the affiliate link.
And it’s very draining to watch or read the news and see another unarmed Black person being shot and nothing being done about it. Not only do we have to worry about our sons, but our daughters too. “Just comply” they say, but even that doesn’t always work. Not all police are bad, but SOME feel threatened simply by the color of our skin. How do you explain that to your child? It’s quite unfortunate and such a sensitive topic to talk about. We shouldn’t have to have this kind of discussion with our children, but we do have to have “the talk”. We have to make sure they understand that we want them home alive.
About Momma, Did You Hear the News? by Sanya Whittaker Gragg
Age Range: 4-8 years
Momma, Did You Hear the News is about a young boy being shook up over hearing the news about another unarmed Black man being shot. His parents have “The Talk” with him and his younger brother. The parents teach the boys an easy way to remember what to do if they are ever approached by a police officer and also emphasize that all policemen are not bad. This book is NOT anti-police but it IS anti-police BRUTALITY!
Sanya Whittaker Gragg, MSW was inspired to write the book Momma, Did You Hear the News because she’s a mom of 2 Black young men. Her goal is to make sure they have been taught to do everything in their power to increase their chances of coming home ALIVE. It’s important to note that although we do EVERYTHING right, the result is not always good. She compares her book to a seat belt…it can’t guarantee that you will survive a police confrontation just as a seat belt can’t guarantee you will survive an accident. This book can’t guarantee that everything will be okay, but hopefully it will increase our children’s chances of understanding this difficult topic and coming home alive.
Our Thoughts on Momma, Did You Hear the News?
Although the topic is sad, I love how well written and beautifully illustrated the book is. This is a topic that needs to be discussed and the author makes it pretty easy to understand with rhyming and a memorable catchy chant. The way Kim Holt illustrated the book also helps young kids to visually memorize 5.
Memorize the 5
A Always use your manners
L Listen and comply
I In control of emotions
V Visible hands always
E Explain everything (as in any movement)
A to the L to the I-V-E! Come home ALIVE that is the key!
My 6 year old daughter couldn’t believe that some people …especially some police who are supposed to protect everyone could possibly not like us just because we’re Black. She understood the story and the feelings of the young boys in it. She really liked the memorize the 5 chant and even started repeating it after we finished the book.
I think this is a much needed book for all kids and it will help families of all races discuss a sensitive and extremely important topic. These things need to be addressed and not ignored. I’m praying that our kids won’t have to sit down and have “the talk” with their own kids. Hopefully we can all take a stand in some way and be examples for our kids and make this world a more loving place instead of such a hateful one.
Where Can I Buy Momma, Did You Hear the News?
Purchase Momma, Did You Hear the News on Amazon by clicking HERE.
Would you read this book to your child? What do you like about it? Are you going to help your child memorize the five? Share in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.