Written by Alicia D. Williams and Illustrated by Briana Mukodiri Uchendu, this title shares the moments many Black and Brown parents and guardians experience with their children in order to keep them safe in spaces.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA) research, “Black boys as young as 10 may not be viewed in the same light of childhood innocence as their white peers, but are instead more likely to be mistaken as older, be perceived as guilty and face police violence if accused of a crime."
Williams shows the humanity and nature of a young boy Jay, the main character, and his friends as they play. Also shown is the adultification and scrutiny Black and Brown children face based on negative stereotypes and perceptions.
The author masterfully intertwines the family's affirmation of Jay as a growing child with everyday interests and joy in contrast to protecting him from a racialized environment he should not have to navigate in a racialized.
Muodiri Uchendu's illustrations reflect the visual comparisons represented in the storyline. The playfulness and warmth of the family, neighborhood, and friends embody the humanity supporting the major themes of the story.
This book provides a sensitive introduction to a difficult topic.
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