You Matter to Me

Feiwel & Friends. Nov. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250834485.
PreS-Gr 2–A dog’s-eye view of life with his Black owner is a respectful, age-appropriate beginning to conversation about racism. Biscuit the dog loves the human—“my guy, my homie”—who saved him from the shelter, gave him a loving home, and shows him “what it means to matter.” Biscuit is stumped by the reactions some people have toward his human, though; why do they grab their bags, or ignore him completely? Biscuit sees how upset and broken it makes his best friend and has some suggestions for readers on how to show his buddy, and other humans, that they matter. Richards’s upbeat, informal tone is appealing and friendly; he writes emotion from the heart and introduces a brilliant way of explaining Black Lives Matter to readers. Framing the story through a pet’s concern for his human invests readers in both Biscuit and his human. Paul’s watercolor and pastel illustrations create friendly, expressive cartoon characters and warm backgrounds for a story filled with affection and acceptance.
VERDICT Taking on an extremely sensitive subject, this is an excellent first purchase that should be read aloud, and read often.

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