All Because You Matter by Tami Charles and Bryan Collier

Hello, Tami Charles! Hello, Bryan Collier! All Because You Matter is absolutely gorgeous. I cannot wait to add it to my 2020 Books I Love presentation that I deliver around the world. Everyone needs to read this beautiful picture book. 


I wrote the words in purple, Tami wrote the words in black, and Bryan wrote the words in green. Thank you, Tami and Bryan! 

Bryan Collier’s illustrations are everything I dreamed they would be...and more. Typically, authors and illustrators work apart from each other, and rightfully so. We each need our own mental space to carry out the vision. So imagine my surprise when Bryan invited my son and I to a photo shoot to help inspire his illustrations! Bryan captured Christopher beautifully. His art for the book accomplishes exactly what I hoped to do as a mother: hold my child in the space of first steps, first words, first books. What a gift it is to see Christopher in the way I will remember him most—even when he’s grown taller than me and pretends he doesn’t need his mama any longer! I can’t thank you enough, Bryan. Truly. 

I hope All Because You Matter transcends age, race, religion, and any imaginable barrier that threatens our unity as citizens of the world. This is the type of book I’d love for parents to read to their babies at night, teachers and librarians to read at story time, loved ones to gift parents-to-be and graduates starting their life’s journey. I hope that readers equally feel the joy and the call to action. 

Christopher Sebastian is my entire universe. (He’s probably so tired of hearing me say this, but it’s true.) Parents and caregivers know exactly what I mean. Our children are our world, a reason to keep going. This is the gift my son has given me. I write for him and for so many children like him, so they can know their worth and carry that knowledge as they navigate life’s ups and downs. 

Picture books are everything that Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop has discussed in her many talks: a mirror, reflecting the familiar; a window, showing a different view of the world; and a glass door, allowing us to step into those worlds. I hope that All Because You Matter is welcomed by all with open arms and lives up to Dr. Bishop’s wise words.



Tami Charles’ manuscript will take you on a glorious journey of self-discovery and self-worth. In a way it's an awakening to a gentle and intimate whisper of promise and hope to a child not yet born. It’s also bearing witness to all the wonder of a child’s first steps, first words, and first obstacles. Tami's manuscript is alarm bell that vibrates a message with urgency through the universe, through our ancestors, to all of us: "ALL BECAUSE YOU MATTER." 

All Because You Matter’s endpapers begin with a star shooting through a star-filled night sky, and ending with that same star-filled night sky and a crescent moon. The background in the endpapers, as well as all the backgrounds throughout the book, start with a flower petal shape which builds into a full bloom tapestry of ideas, voices, ancestry, hope and dreams. I was partly raised my grandmother who was a quilt maker, so when you see my art, you can see the influence of a quilt maker, as I join parts and petal shapes together to make a whole idea or image. 

Tami and her son, Christopher, are the models for this book. In general, I love when family members pose for a books. I know that family will be relaxed and comfortable around each other which will be reflected in sometimes sudden and wonderfully unexpected body gestures. I call them, "magic moments".

I hope that at the end of the day, we realize that we are all each other’s hope and promise. And that is my message to the whole planet.


Look for All Because You Matter on October 6, 2020. 

Scholastic's Description: 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 laughter, 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.

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