Book Review: Momma, Did You Hear the News

Say it Rah-shay By Aug 31, 2017 2 Comments

Now that The Bee is working on getting driver’s license (what even?!) I feel like we have so many opportunities to have “The Talk.” What to do when those flashing lights are behind you? How do you stay cool and calm when there is a police officer shining a light in your face? It’s nerve wrecking worrying that a simple traffic stop may result in the latest hashtag.

In Sanya Whittaker Gragg’s picture book, “Momma, Did You Hear the News” ten year old Avery learns about a police shooting of an unarmed Black Man and his parents decide to have the talk. In having the talk, Avery’s parents emphasis that not every police officer is bad and teach Avery to memorize The 5.

The 5

A: Always use your manners
L: Listen and comply
I: In Control of emotions
V: Visible Hands ALWAYS
E: Explain Everything

This picture book is important for all children to begin a dialogue about real life events. For children of color, it can be scary watching the news and seeing someone who looks like you injured, dying, during a routine traffic stop.

Sanya does a wonderful job sharing this message in a way that is accessible for all ages without oversimplifying such power information. She addresses current events in ways that children can manage and offers ideas to encourage conversations on this difficult matter.

Illustrations by Kim Holt show a loving African-American family who are trying to make sense of rules which seem to punish people of color. I love that the family demonstrates love and emotion as they tackle this difficult issue.

Stay Social

Sanya is on social media and you can visit and follow her using the links below.

Facebook: @memorizethe5 #memorizethe5
Instagram: @memorizethe5 #memorizethe5
Twitter: @memorizethe5 #memorizethe5

Get your copy of “Momma, Did You Hear the News” using my affiliate link. We want our children safe and sound and this book offers them the tools to do so.

r’s note: I was sent a copy of Momma, Did You Hear the News  to facilitate my review. Affiliate links are used in this post. All thoughts and ideas are my own.



I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Nice to see you writing. Also, did you change your blog to WordPress. Love it. Nice book review. Charlene –

    1. Rachee says:

      Hey Charlene!
      I’m on WordPress but changed the theme a few weeks ago. I’m just trying to get back into the habit of writing again. Thanks for reading!

Your turn! Tell it to Rah-shay!