All Because You Matter
All Because You Matter

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Annotation: A lyrical, heart-lifting love letter to black and brown children everywhere.
Catalog Number: #238857
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Illustrator: Collier, Bryan,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-57485-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8632-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-57485-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8632-4
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
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 ack 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).
Horn Book
A richly illustrated affirmation for Black children -- especially boys. An African American expectant mother and father eagerly await the arrival of their child, embracing him even as he grows in utero. On the first double-page spread, a full moon appears, composed of overlapping petal shapes that form a tapestry, a quilt -- a visual motif that soon becomes colorful patterns and images of African American faces. The visuals throughout whisper of the family's African ancestry; the poetic text says, "You were dreamed of, like a knapsack full of wishes, carried on the backs of your ancestors as they created empires, pyramids, legacies." Charles employs the word matter effectively as both noun and verb, emphasizing that because this child is made up of matter from the universe, he matters. When the mother reads to her son in her lap, the text pays homage to Rudine Sims Bishop's framework, likening the book the pair is reading to a mirror in which the child can see the "same hair, same skin, same dreams." After touching on the racism that Black children face, this tribute announces its uplifting climax in Collier's loving illustrations of this brown-skinned child's face, boldly inviting the audience to see -- really see -- him in all his beauty. Stunning. Powerful. Timely. Illustrated inspiration at its best. Michelle H. Martin
Publishers Weekly
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.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 A touching and uplifting story about a child of color being told by his parents how he matters. A Black couple who are expecting a child begin to speak to the baby while still in the womb about how his life matters. As the child grows, poetic text reveals that "stars sprayed across the sky" and that he comes from descendants of kings and queens. As he becomes a toddler and his mother reads to him, he sees in the pages of the story characters and images of children like him. Beautiful collages carry the messages of "you matter," not to give up despite adversity, and that "beauty and strength is within you." A powerful tale in a broken world, this will give children hope and parents comfort. VERDICT Like Kristina Evans's What's Special About Me, Mama? this also depicts a mother speaking to a child of color about his worth; a very timely story and a wonderful addition to school and public libraries.Annmarie Braithwaite, New York P.L., New York City
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Two accomplished creators invite Black children to take up their spaces in the world.Charles’ lyrical text addresses “you, dear child,” in the voice of a loving caregiver, recounting how the world anticipated and prepared for the child’s existence. The child was “dreamed of, / like a knapsack / full of wishes / carried on the backs / of your ancestors,” who worked and built, “because to them, / you always mattered.” The word “matter” is used in both ways: as a noun, as the child is made up of the same stuff that makes up the universe, and as a verb, because “strength, power and beauty / lie within,” even though the world will sometimes make the child question whether “they, / or you, / will ever matter.” The universe made room for “you, / your people, / their dreams, / your future,” Charles assures the child. The protesters (“take a breath, / take a stand, / take a knee”) and victims of racist violence (“Trayvon, / Tamir, / Philando”) are mentioned explicitly without becoming the focus; the journey from beginning to end of the book sends a message that is nurturing, nourishing, loving, and reassuring, expanding and deepening the words of the movement it echoes. Collier’s trademark paint-and-collage illustrations use petal shapes with patterns and faces, blue and brown hues, and family scenes and close-ups to embody the child’s growth within affectionate circles of family, community, and universe.A gem for every household. (author's note, illustrator's note) (Picture book. 5-10)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Horn Book (10/1/20)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (10/1/20)
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly (10/1/20)
ALA Booklist (10/1/20)
School Library Journal
Word Count: 451
Reading Level: 3.9
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.9 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 509101 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD810L
Guided Reading Level: O

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.

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