Jabari Jumps

by Gaia Cornwell Year Published:


Jabari is a spirited little boy with a pretty big mission: after finishing his swimming lessons and passing his test, he’s ready to jump off the diving board at the community pool! Before he jumps, however, Jabari decides it would be kind if he let all the children behind him in line jump first. And it would be important to stop and plan his special jump. And prudent to stretch. Finally, Jabari admits that he might be a little…scared. Luckily, our young hero has a support system: loving encouragement from his father and baby sister (who never says a word, but smiles reassuringly). His dad helps Jabari get ready to take the plunge: “It’s okay to feel a little scared…Sometimes if I feel a little scared, I take a deep breath and tell myself I am ready. And you know what? Sometimes it stops being scary and feels a little like a surprise.” The natural-sounding dialogue between Jabari and his gentle, observant father is paired with watercolor and collage illustrations that perfectly depict a hazy summer day...

~Horn Book Magazine (May/June, 2017)