Review of All Because You Matter, by Tami Charles, illustrated by Bryan Collier

All Because You Matter

by Tami Charles
illustrated by Bryan Collier

Orchard Books (Scholastic), 2020. 36 pages.
Review written 10/20/2020 from a library book
Starred Review

This picture book is a message book, but it’s written in a way that transcends the message, with poetry and lovely paintings/collages telling children that they matter.

The specific child shown in the illustrations is a black boy, and this book will work best for black boys, but that sure seems fair. And you can use this book to remember the value inherent in all young people – while enjoying the poetry and the stunning illustrations.

It’s a book for reading to your own beloved child. Here’s how it begins:

They say that matter
is all things
that make up the universe:
space . . .

If that’s the case,
then you, dear child, matter.

Long before you took
your place in this world,
you were dreamed of,
like a knapsack
full of wishes,
carried on the backs
of your ancestors
as they created

The book talks about when you get older and get to school and start wondering if you matter. This part is as dark as it gets:

Or the time when your Pop Pop
turns on the news,
and you see people everywhere
take a breath,
take a stand,
take a knee.

And you hear Pop Pop’s
whispered prayers,
as another name is called:
and you wonder
if they,
or you,
will ever matter.

But did you know
that you do?

Did you know that
you were born from

Did you know that
you are the earth?
That strength, power, and
beauty lie within you?

And that takes the book to the finish with more affirmations and celebrations that you and your family always mattered and always will.

Again, all of this is accompanied by lavishly beautiful illustrations. There are author’s and illustrator’s notes making it personal.

I read another picture book with a similar message shortly before reading this one. I chose not to review that earlier book, because it had a good message, but the book wasn’t much more than the message. This book has reached a level of art in both the illustrations and the poetry. And it tells a particular story that can be universally applied. But it is particular to those who most need to hear it in today’s times. And that’s a lovely breath of fresh air.

Buy from

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

*Note* To try to catch up on posting reviews, I’m posting the oldest reviews I’ve written on my blog without making a page on my main website. They’re still good books!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *