Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall – Book Review

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall – Book Review

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari Jumps

Author – Gaia Cornwall
Publisher – Walker Books
Pages – 32
Released – 7th June 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1406380873
Format – paperback, Hardcover
Reviewer – Stacey
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book
Post contains affiliate links.


Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash.

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swimming test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board…

In a sweet tale of overcoming your fears, debut author-illustrator Gaia Cornwall captures a moment at the swimming pool between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

New one review witch 2017

Little Jabari had just finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test. He decided that he was now ready to jump off the diving board and today was the day. He watched all the other children jump off the board and declared it looked easy. However, when he got to the bottom of the board he looked up and saw how high it was. He felt scared but he didn’t want to let anyone know how he felt.

His dad knew how he was feeling though. He told Jabari that it was okay to feel scared and that sometimes even he felt scared. He then taught him what he does when he feels scared and how it helps. Jabari decided to give the diving board another go, this time using the technique his dad had taught him.

Jabari Jumps is a very sweet, short children’s book following little Jabari as he tries to work up the courage to jump off the diving board. The book shows children that everyone gets scared sometimes and that it is normal and okay. It also shows them how Jabari’s dad helps him to overcome his fears.

The pages are filled with exquisite illustrations that really capture how Jabari is feeling. I also love how there are images in the background that are made out of what looks like pages out of a book. The illustrations also clearly show what is happening in the story and a non-reader would be able to make out the story from these alone.

The writing is clear and in a print big enough for young children to read, especially a new reader. This is Gaia Cornwall’s first children’s book and I think she has done a marvellous job. I also love how she has shown the father of the family looking after his children on his own, not something you see often in children’s books.

Reviewed by Stacey

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About the Author

Gaia Cornwall

Gaia Cornwall is an illustrator who loves making patterns for surface design, illustrating for children, and writing picture books.

Her images can be seen in magazines, online, in logos, on various products, and even in a couple movies. JABARI JUMPS is her debut picture book. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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