The Breaking News

illus. by Sarah Lynne Reul. 48p. Roaring Brook. Apr. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250153562.
PreS-Gr 2—While the bad news that begins this story remains a mystery, the anxiety that this family of color faces is clear. The parents are distraught and following something closely on their devices while the children pick up on their anxiety. They try to be well behaved but are disappointed when their actions go unnoticed. A big effort seems overwhelming, so the brother/sister duo try to change things in small ways, like watering a drooping plant. When it perks back up, the parents notice and help them build on that small thing by making tiny potted plants together as a family to hand out to their neighborhood. With simple language that names emotions, the narrative identifies the helplessness children feel when something happens that they are too small to understand or change.
VERDICT The ambiguous nature of the circumstances makes this title appropriate for many situations children face in today's never-ending news cycle. An absolute-must for most libraries.

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