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All because you matter
Book
2020
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Reviews

Booklist Reviews

In an era where the worth of Black lives is constantly questioned, it only makes sense to affirm and reify the importance, necessity, and inheritance of Black children. That's exactly what this book does, reaching back to generations alive before we were born, reminding Black people that our very existence is the manifestation of our ancestors' dreams. Following the life of a young Black boy from his mother's pregnancy to birth and through childhood, this story is a reminder that even when the world says otherwise—Black lives matter. Beautifully textured collage illustrations reveal both the sacred and difficult moments of growing up Black, while lyrical poetry envelops readers in a soft cadence sure to lull the most active of young readers. Full of potential for use beyond its recommended years, this is a title sure to be frequented by not only Black children but any child looking for a kind word and confidence boost. A natural companion for Grace Byers' I Am Enough (2018) and Derrick Barnes' I Am Every Good Thing (2020). Grades K-3. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Caldecott Honoree Collier's (Trombone Shorty) tender, close-up watercolor portraits of a growing Black boy give visual power to this celebration of young Black lives. In an author's note, Charles (Freedom Soup) writes about "The Big Talk"—words that every Black parent must speak to their child about discrimination and violence. Lyrical verse that aims to offer "a starting point for conversations about the racial climate in our country" underlines an important message: "you, dear child, matter." Beginning with his birth and a spread of the boy toddling into his mother's arms, text invokes his history and familial legacy: "you were dreamed of,/ like a knapsack/ full of wishes/ carried on the backs/ of your ancestors/ as they created/ empires,/ pyramids,/ legacies." As a schoolchild in a green T-shirt, he faces hurdles: academic efforts go unrewarded, classmates jeer, "another name is called:/ Trayvon,/ Tamir,/ Philando." Alongside these realities, Charles delivers a ringing affirmation of his life's meaning—"Did you know that... strength, power, and/ beauty lie within you?"—as Collier shows the boy straight on, surrounded by collaged images of his ancestry. Universal declarations are often illustrated with images of many children; this book's focus on a single child brings his experience and life—and the ways they matter—right up close. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Author Biography

Tami Charles is a former teacher and full-time author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made it her mission to introduce her students to all types of literature, but especially diverse books. While it was refreshing to see a better selection than what she was accustomed to as a child, Tami felt there weren’t nearly as many diverse books as she’d hoped for. It was then that she decided to reignite her passion for writing. Tami is the author of middle grade novels Like Vanessa and Definitely Daphne; Becoming Beatriz, a YA novel; and the picture book Freedom Soup.

Bryan Collier loves to paint. He has successfully channeled his creative energy and love of art into an illustrious career as a children's book illustrator and writer. He began painting at the age of 15 and eventually landed a scholarship to attend Pratt Institute in New York. He has won four Caldecott Honors for Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews, and Dave the Potter by Laban Carack Hill. His first book, Uptown, won the Coretta Scott King Award and the Ezra Jack Keats Award. He has won five more Coretta Scott King Awards and three Coretta Scott King Honors.
- (Scholastic)

Annotations

A lyrical, heart-lifting love letter to Black and Brown children everywhere reminds them how much they matter, that they have always mattered and they always will. - (Baker & Taylor)

A lyrical, heart-lifting love letter to Black and Brown children everywhere reminds them how much they matter, that they have always mattered and they always will. Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations. - (Baker & Taylor)

Instant New York Times bestseller!

A lyrical, heart-lifting love letter to Black and brown children everywhere: reminding them how much they matter, that they have always mattered, and they always will, from powerhouse rising star author Tami Charles and esteemed, award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier.

The #1 Amazon Best Children's Book of 2020

A Chicago Public Library and New York Public Library's Best Books of 2020

A TODAY's Favorite Children's Books of 2020

A Shelf Awareness's Best Children's and Teen Books of 2020

A Best Books of 2020, School Library Journal

A Best Picture Books of 2020, Chicago Public Library

A NPR's Best Books of 2020

A Best Picture Books of 2020, Barnes and Noble

A Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2020

* "A gem for every household." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Stunning. Powerful. Timely. Illustrated inspiration at its best." -- Horn Book, starred review

Discover this poignant, timely, and emotionally stirring picture book, an ode to Black and brown children everywhere that is full of hope, assurance, and love.

Tami Charles pens a poetic, lyrical text that is part love letter, part anthem, assuring readers that they always have, and always will, matter. This powerful, rhythmic lullaby reassures readers that their matter and their worth is never diminished, no matter the circumstance: through the joy and wonder of their first steps and first laughs, through the hardship of adolescent struggles, and the pain and heartbreak of current events, they always have, and always will, matter. Accompanied by illustrations by renowned artist Bryan Collier, a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient and a nine-time Coretta Scott King Award winner or honoree, All Because You Matter empowers readers with pride, joy, and comfort, reminding them of their roots and strengthening them for the days to come.

Lyrical, personal, and full of love, All Because You Matter is for the picture book audience what The Hate U Give was for YA and Ghost Boys was for middle grade: a conversation starter, a community touchstone, and a deep affirmation of worth for the young readers who need it most.

- (Scholastic)

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