All Because You Matter

Book review by
Diondra K. Brown, Common Sense Media
All Because You Matter Book Poster Image
Poetic declaration to children that their lives matter.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

All Because You Matter examines the concept of "matter" from a developmentally appropriate scientific perspective. The author connects the importance of our lives to our ancetors' dreams, providing some historical references. 

Positive Messages

The book is filled with positive affirmations and messages of hope. You matter, and you mattered to your family and ancestors long before you were born. Everyone's life is important, as is equity among all people in society.

Positive Role Models

Illustrations display children of various races and religions. Readers are empowered to take pride in their identity, even when they feel others reject them for their differences.  

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that All Because You Matter is a warm love letter to all children who have ever questioned whether their life matters. This story, told in a lyrical style, is brought to life by author and poet Tami Charles. Illustrator Bryan Collier, a Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Award winner, creates unique images in watercolor and collage that tell their own story. Charles' poem sparks thoughts about understanding your identity and the importance of self-love. The message is very clear: All children, no matter their race, religion, or color, matter. 

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What's the story?

ALL BECAUSE YOU MATTER is a poetic tribute to children, specifically those who are marginalized, designed to empower them and affirm that their lives have always mattered. The story follows the early childhood of the main character, a brown-skinned boy. As his parents await his arrival, the concept of "matter" is discussed. The story takes readers on a journey through time and space, from examining our role as people in relation to the larger universe to how our lives are connected to the dreams of our ancestors, and how certain events in life can cause us to question our purpose and self-worth. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this book opens the door to discussing cultural pride and racial injustice with children. 

Is it any good?

This rhythmically rich story inspires hope and ignites pride in readers who will end the story knowing that their lives are important. All Because You Matter celebrates difference and motivates readers to think outside of the box, and understand why all children, of all colors, matter. This story seamlessly connects the lived experience of children who feel different, to those who have lost their lives due to racial injustice. It is also passionate tribute to the power of storytelling and familial love and pride. Readers will close the book with the author's words echoing in their minds, "You mattered. They mattered. We matter... and always will."  

Bryan Collier's illustration leap off the page and will certainly appeal to adult and children readers alike. This unique style of illustration is a fusion of quilted petals, with hidden imagery, and collage art. The similes used in the book's text compliments the art, and will create imaginative imagery in the reader's mind. This piece promotes powerful messages and images, which will help to inspire dreams of a more accepting world.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the collage art in All Because You Matter. What pictures do you see in the cut out petal shapes that surround the boy and his ancestors?  

  • What do you think about the poetic style of the text? Try writing a poem about why you matter. 

  • Has anyone every treated you differently because of your skin color, race, or religion? 

  • What do your loved ones do to remind you that you matter? How can you spread this message to others?

Book details

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For kids who love picture books and stories that boost self-esteem

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