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  • Writer's pictureIshta Mercurio

Cover Collection 28: You Matter, by Christian Robinson, designed by Sonia Chaghatzbanian

Welcome to cover collection, my (mostly) weekly blog post where I sing the praises of book covers that I love.

I failed to post twice last week, because life got in the way, so I’m *aiming* to post twice this week in order to make up for it. First up, this fabulous cover of Christian Robinson’s upcoming author-illustrated title, You Matter, designed by Sonia Chaghatzbanian. You read that right--this book isn't out until May 5th! Mr. Schu was generous enough to give me this arc when we met at Reading For the Love of It (THANK YOU, Mr. Schu!), and friends, it’s fantastic. You are DEFINITELY going to want to pre-order this! Take a look:

children of various ethnic backgrounds and abilities play with a parachute on a light blue background

Let's hear it for another Christian Robinson title!

The most obviously great thing about this cover, to me, is the diverse representation of children. I see a child wearing hijab, I see an Asian child, I see a Black child, I see a child in a wheelchair who looks like he might also be Latinx... Notably, the Asian child is not depicted with the stereotypically slanted eyes that are shown in so many racist depictions of Asian children. I appreciate the effort that Christian Robinson obviously went to to give as many children as possible the opportunity to see themselves on the cover of a book that was created for them.

I also want to talk about the hand-lettering on the cover, because it does this really cool, kind of sneaky thing. The hand lettering continues throughout the text of the book — in fact, the entire book is hand-lettered — and while on one hand, obviously, in order to hand letter a book you have to develop a lot of skill, it’s also a nod to the capabilities of its audience. Kids hand-letter everything, and seeing hand-lettering in a book communicates to children that they are capable, and that their work is worthy of being seen by others. It is a covert way of reinforcing the message of this book: that its readers matter.

Finally, I love that the children on the cover of this book are all cooperating in one activity together. It’s an illustration of what the world should look like: everyone, working together, to achieve a common goal, or to simply enjoy this life together.

That’s all I have time for, which is a shame, because this title deserves so much more time. What do you love about the cover? Drop your thoughts in the comments, and let’s continue the conversation!

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