All Because You Matter

Written By: Tami Charles

Illustrated by: Bryan Collier

For Ages: 4 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Poetry, Black Families, Children, Social-Emotional Learning, Growing Up, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Own Voices.

Summary: This gorgeous book is an ode to Black sons, and a mother’s deepest wishes for her son to know his worth and that he matters. To himself, and to the world. The lyrical text follows a Black boy as he navigates his life through ups and downs, learning about the world. Developing social-emotional skills and political knowledge, he (and the reader) can call on the ancestral powers that dreamt of his existence.

The illustrations that accompany this beautiful text are stunning. Bryan Collier captures the smallest of expressions in our main character’s soulful eyes, and invokes the ancestors of every young boy who is alive today. The book recognizes the hardship that comes with knowing your life isn’t valued by some, but the heartfelt assurances that empower and spur a person forward to change the world. Overall meaningful and empowering, All Because You Matter is an own voices book not to be missed.

This book was kindly sent by Scholastic as a submission for the #bookstagang_bestof2020 but all opinions are my own!

The featured image for this post was found here!

Tami Charles

Former teacher. Wannabe chef. Tami Charles is a New York Times Bestselling author of books for children and young adults. Her middle grade debut, Like Vanessa, earned Top 10 spots on the Indies Introduce and Spring Kids’ Next lists, three starred reviews, and a Junior Library Guild selection. Her recent titles include a humorous middle grade, Definitely Daphne, picture book, Freedom Soup, and YA novel, Becoming Beatriz. Her latest picture book, All Because You Matter, debuted at #4 on the New York Times Bestseller list. When Tami isn’t writing, she can be found presenting at schools both stateside and abroad. (Or sneaking in a nap…because sleep is LIFE!)

Bryan Collier

Bryan Collier grew up in Pocomoke, Maryland, on the lower Eastern Shore of the state, the youngest of six children. His interest in art started early. “At home and at school, I was encouraged to read. I remember the first books with pictures that I read by myself were The Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I liked the stories, but I really liked the pictures.” As a teenager he began to paint the world around him – the bay, ducks, water, and marshland.

His interest in art was always encouraged both at home and at school. He began to develop a unique style of painting that incorporated both watercolors and collage.

“Collage is more than just an art style. Collage is all about bringing different elements together. Once you form a sensibility about connection, how different elements relate to each other, you deepen your understanding of yourself and others.”

In 1985 Bryan won first place in a Congressional Competition, and his art was displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Later that year he was awarded a scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York City through their national talent competition. In 1989 Bryan graduated with honors from Pratt Institute with a bachelor of fine arts degree.

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