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 swim 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 sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.
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)
Please select all options.