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Because no matter whether we like it or not, we all experience the same thing, time and time again. Some day, somewhere, something happens and we feel immobilized by grief, anger, and even helplessness. Our kids understand that something in the news has affected us profoundly, but it’s not always easy (or age appropriate) to tell them about the latest current event. So what do we do? What do our KIDS do?
In Sarah Lynne Reul’s The Breaking News, a child’s community is rattled when devastating news strikes it at its core. The news leaves the adults in the neighborhood exhausted and distracted. At school, the child's teacher tells her class to look for the helpers in times of distress. The girl wants to be a helper. She wants to help her family and her community in as big a way as she can- until she realizes that maybe one small act of kindness is all she needs to do to make a difference.
I absolutely adore The Breaking News. I love how it offers a child-centric perspective on family and community upon the receipt of bad news as well as the manner in which the child seeks to positively impact her community afterwards. Though our children may not always understand the “adult” events that happen around the world and even in our own backyards, they are undoubtedly impacted by our distress. Many of these kids don’t know how to help, but they so desperately do their best to try. The Breaking News beautifully illustrates that kids may not be able to fix major challenges, but they can absolutely contribute to brightening the world around them in small, simple ways. This is a timely story that parents and teachers will want in their collections for those tough situations when our own words fail us but a perfect book opens the door for education and understanding.
When her parents are sad and distracted by the bad news, this little girl tries to find a way to help in a BIG way, but all her ideas seem to fall flat. So then she tries to help in small ways, and finds that she can make a difference after all. This is a sweet story with a great message for kids who may be grappling with news or events that they don't understand, but see the effects of all around them. This story encourages kids that they don't have to feel powerless or small, but that they can help, too. The illustrations are emotive and the color palette subtly shifts to mirror the emotions in the story, with the color green playing a pivotal role. I love the pacing at the end, which marries the text and imagery perfectly. The story handles the topic of bad news in a way that feels genuine, not glossing over the difficulties of life, and yet still positive.
I am a Kindergarten teacher and read this virtually to my class. This book gave me goosebumps and helped me to remember to "look for the helpers," and to help parents explain the situation to my young students in an age-appropriate way. I really like that the book does not say specifically what "The Breaking News" is, and is vague enough to use in any situation. It was perfect for the COVID shutdown but I could see it working for natural disasters and other big events as well. Highly recommend!
This book never specifies what the bad news is, but my kids instantly made a connection to current events. Our kids can pick up on our emotions and reactions to the news. This book can help you start a conversation about what is happening and how each of us can take action. I would definitely recommend this book for both the classroom and home.
What a great concept - perfect for kids (and adults too) who hear bad news and want to make sense of it. Sarah Lynne Reul provides a hopeful resolution - a perfect ending to this timely debut picture book.
I strongly recommend this book! Especially now, this book imparts an important message all children should hear. I love how the author respects little ones’ intelligence & handles such a delicate topic brilliantly.