That's the message behind the new book inspired by true stories called You Matter To Me. The new picture book was written by Doyin Richards, who has never shied away from having difficult conversations. He's a father to two girls, and the author of books titled What's the Difference: Being Different is Amazing, and Watch Me: A Story of Immigration and Inspiration. He is also a charter member of the Today Show’s Parenting Team.
Doyin Richards' newest book, which lays the groundwork to start conversations about race with young children and their families and friends, is perhaps his most personal yet. You Matter To Me is based on many true stories from his own life, including a story from his twin brother that went viral.
You Matter To Me, which was illustrated by Robert Paul Jr., is told from the point of view of a recently adopted dog named Biscuit, who describes what it’s like to go on walks with his Black owner.
Biscuit soon realizes that not everyone shares his feelings of love for his human.
His human is Black, and some people in the neighborhood are scared by that. Some people hold their purses closer, or tighten their grip on their children’s hands when Biscuit and his owner walk by.
Biscuit wishes people would see his human as he does: With love.
With honest, age-appropriate storytelling, You Matter To Me opens a door to a conversation about racism with younger children that is more important than ever, while promoting kindness, ally-ship, and empathy.
Those are important traits, ones it feels like we all need to be reminded of these days, no matter our age.