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The Storybarn Selects… from The Reader Bookshelf

Written by Maisie Jeynes, 2nd August 2021

This year in the Storybarn we've really focussed on finding books in which all the children who come to visit us can see themselves reflected; while also acknowledging that this has been a really tough 18-months for our schools, families and communities, and that the children who we are reading with might be feeling anxious or need some additional reassurance.


You Matter by Christian Robinson is such a wonderful picture book for really exploring where we all fit in the world, and helping us to have some great discussions about some of those bigger or overwhelming feelings.

That's why as well as adding this really imaginative book to our Walking the Earth collection for The Reader Bookshelf this year, we're also spending the whole of August reading, re-reading and sharing it as our specially chosen Storybarn Book of the Month.  

The story takes us right back to the very dawn of time, and follows the tiniest creature seen through a microscope as the Universe comes into being; we can be the scientist investigating evolution, or the T-Rex being bothered by the mosquito – and the poetry reminds us that we are all important and we all have our part to play. 

Every reader can imagine themselves somewhere in the story, whether that’s feeling sad at a goodbye, lonely in a crowd, or contentedly surrounded by pigeons in the park – and the beautifully painted illustrations are full of life and joy, using bright, vivid colours across series of double page spreads which go from the enormity of the whole of space, to the tiny hidden world of the ant underground. 

The overarching message – that whoever you are, wherever you go, however you’re feeling, you matter is a lovely and uplifting one, especially for this strange and unpredictable year where we have all felt a little like the ameba who has to swim against the tide!

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