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Jabari Jumps Hardcover – Picture Book, May 9, 2017

4.9 out of 5 stars 3,198 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2—An African American boy and his baby sister and father head to an urban community pool. Jabari has completed his swim lessons and tests and is ready to jump off a diving board. In his zigzag swim trunks and swim goggles, the boy tells his dad that diving looks easy. But when he stands at the ladder and looks up, up, and up at the diving board, he starts stalling for time, saying that he has other things to do before he can make the big leap. His father reassures him that it is OK to be scared, encourages him to take deep breaths, and tells him that he might just be surprised. With renewed determination, Jabari climbs the ladder and jumps into the pool. He's flying and splashing and sinking down and swimming back up and he's done it! Jabari is a great jumper. Just enough conversational text accompanies each illustration, including several smaller vignettes on a single page that help build suspense. Mixed-media images in serene muted colors, high-rise buildings above the tree line, and the intriguing addition of faded newsprint accents strengthen the urban feel of the illustrations. VERDICT Jabari's story will help assuage the fears kids experience when faced with a new and daunting adventure. A terrific seasonal storytime read-aloud that's perfect for one-on-one sharing.—Mindy Hiatt, Salt Lake County Library Services

Review

Cornwall captures the exquisite tingle of Jabari’s fear and excitement, which gives the book its drama. The visual details — the way the little sister’s tiny hand grips her father’s back while her father holds her brother’s hand — give the book its heart.
—The New York Times Book Review

There are plenty of picture books reassuring kids who don’t quite achieve their own goals when they want to (see, for example, Ashley Spires’s The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do, BCCB 4/17), but here Cornwall celebrates success earned through overcoming fears and through reliance on the supportive presence of a loving parent...Pool season is right around the corner, and this funny and joyful outing will put everyone in the mood for a dip.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

Mixed-media images in serene muted colors, high-rise buildings above the tree line, and the intriguing addition of faded newsprint accents strengthen the urban feel of the illustrations. Jabari’s story will help assuage the fears kids experience when faced with a new and daunting adventure. A terrific seasonal storytime read-aloud that’s perfect for one-on-one sharing.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

In her debut, Cornwall places her loving black family at the center, coloring the swimming pool and park beyond in minty hues and adding whimsy with digitally collaged newspaper for skyscrapers...This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash.
—Kirkus Reviews

The dialogue and text are straightforward and make a nice pairing with the creatively chosen angles for the illustrations...a welcome piece for any summertime collection.
—Booklist

A daunting gaze downward, past Jabari’s toes that curl around the edge of the board, makes the water look incredibly far away, and when seen from behind, he seems as high up as the skyscrapers in the distance. It’s a lovely, knowing account of a big “first” in a child’s life.
—Publishers Weekly

Against a backdrop of warm brown skin tones and cool aqua water, debut author-illustrator Cornwell presents an empowering and celebratory story. Young readers will root for Jabari as he prepares to take a leap of faith.
—The Horn Book

Anyone who has hesitated on the brink of something daunting—a brave act or a big decision—will feel a rush of kinship with the small protagonist of Gaia Cornwall’s picture book “Jabari Jumps”.
—The Wall Street Journal

Beautifully done.
—People

It’s a summertime rite of passage: jumping off the diving board for the first time. In Jabari Jumps (Candlewick, ages 4-8) Gaia Cornwall brings to vivid life this moment for one little boy…For young listeners, this lovely book is a reminder that the best summers have both challenging surprises and fun.
—The Washington Post

A little boy has finished his swimming lessons and is trying to get up the courage to jump off the diving board in this utterly charming debut picture book with a valuable lesson about conquering your fears from a gifted author-illustrator
—Buffalo News

For a little lightheartedness “Jabari Jumps” (Candlewick, 2017; 15.99) is just the ticket. Gaia Cornwall wrote and illustrated this charming story of Jabari who goes to the swimming pool with his father and younger sister and promises that this is the day he will jump off the diving board...Young readers will want to hear or Jabari’s challenge again and again.
—The Gazette

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick; Illustrated edition (May 9, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0763678384
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0763678388
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 3 - 6 years, from customers
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ AD490L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Preschool - 3
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 10.13 x 0.5 x 11.63 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 3,198 ratings

About the author

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Gaia Cornwall loves to write and illustrate for children. Her debut picture book, Jabari Jumps (Candlewick Press), was featured in People Magazine, The New York Times, was named a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book, an Amazon Best Children’s Book of the Year, and was a 2017 NPR staff pick, among other accolades. Upcoming titles include Jabari Flies and Best Bed For Me, (Candlewick Press), and The Unicorn Came to Dinner written by Lauren DeStefano (Roaring Brook Press). Gaia lives in Providence, RI with her two little kiddos and one programmer husband. You can see more of her work at www.GaiaCornwall.com.

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
3,198 global ratings
5 star
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 6, 2017
80 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2017
21 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2017
8 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2020
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2020
Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2018

Top reviews from other countries

Copelands
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, great for 3+
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 24, 2019
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Copelands
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, great for 3+
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 24, 2019
I added this book to my 2 year old daughters wishlist a while back and finally purchased it for her 3rd birthday present. It has not disappointed. She loves the book and asks for it again and again. I also love it and have not tired of reading it on repeat.

She understands Jabari is scared, and that he does it anyway rather than letting fear stop him do something he really wants to do. She joins in with the celebration at the end "he did it!! He can do it!" And says "I can do it"l!!!" herself now when she believes she can't do something but surprises herself.

The message is quit subtle, not overdone, but has worked a treat improving my 3 year olds way of thinking. The story is about overcoming fears but also how to support and be kind to help others. I like that the dad and little sister are there supporting, not pushing him in just a lovely way, and are there to cheer him on.

Helps with teaching my daughter difference between not wanting to do something because she actually doesn't want to, as opposed to be scared or worried she'll fail/be no good at all ie. if you knew for sure you would succeed in doing something you're hesitant on, would you do it? If yes, you want to do it and it's just fear stopping you, if not, it's just something you don't want to do.

I see this being a popular book for years to come. Illustrations are beautiful and really expressive. Great use of perspective to make us feel part of his jump and achievements! Highly Recommend for wide age group.
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2 people found this helpful
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One Man Book
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillant Book about Facing Fears
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 30, 2020
One person found this helpful
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Sandy
5.0 out of 5 stars Empowerment through seeing someone like you
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 17, 2021
zahara
5.0 out of 5 stars Representation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2020
Chinyere Evelyn Ifediora
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2021
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Chinyere Evelyn Ifediora
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2021
My daughter is fascinated with swimming and this book about jumping/diving is a great addition to her picture books to help her stay excited about it all.

The illustrations are beautiful.

Thank you to the author and illustrator for the beautiful piece.
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