Jabari Jumps – Gaia Cornwall


          Jabari Jumps – Gaia Cornwall, Candlewick Press, (9780763678388), 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  A young African-American boy heads to the pool with his father and little sister, eager to try out the high diving board.  Once he gets there, however, he has second thoughts.  First he lets all the other kids go ahead while he thinks of his “special jump,” then he needs to “take a tiny rest” and do some stretches.  His father reassures him: “‘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.’”  Finally Jabari makes it to the end of the diving board and a wonderful illustration gives us his perspective as his little toes cling to the end of the board and the pool looks far away.  Jabari takes a leap and does it and is ready to go again.  The illustrious in pencil, watercolor, and collage with digital color bring the story to life.  A great summertime read.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is one to share with children facing fears, especially with swimming or diving.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?   No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  7/2/17             

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