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Jabari Jumps

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  2,268 ratings  ·  460 reviews
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
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Candlewick Press
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June Lewis My two year old granddaughter loves looking at the pictures and hearing the story, her four year old brother loves reading it,. I read it to a group…moreMy two year old granddaughter loves looking at the pictures and hearing the story, her four year old brother loves reading it,. I read it to a group of children from 3 to 10 years old and they all enjoyed it. The illustrations are very engaging.(less)

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4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,268 ratings  ·  460 reviews

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Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five Brilliant Stars for Jabari Jumps a marvelous picture book that teaches all of that it is okay to be frightened at times but more important to conquer those fears!

I'm the mother of a professional platform diver and I know how scary those boards look from up high especially to a little guy! However, what I love most is about this book is Jabari. I attended dive meets for nearly two decades, from local to Olympic Trials, and I can count on one hand the number of swimmer/divers who look like J
Ashleigh Rose
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bought this book to add to my library because of a student named Jabari. Even as a cool 6th grader, he was so enamored and spent all day reading it, clutching it, and showing it off to everyone in the school. Served as a powerful reminder of the necessity of representation in books. He blossomed into a new person seeing the first Jabari he'd ever seen in a book, who also looked like him to boot! 5 stars from us both!
David Schaafsma
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books, and we have been doing this for years. Everyone rates each book and adds a comment and it may (or may not) affect my overall rating. This is book #7 of 2017.

Tara: 4 stars. There were a few good "perspective" pictures, such as Jabari's looking down from the diving board from a scared kid's point of view.
Harry (12): 4 stars. I like the line: "Surprise! Double backflip is next!"
Hank (11): 4 stars. I like how they show him fa
Archit Ojha
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Picture Book.

Deals with confidence building and reminds you to be courageous. The illustration was fabulous.
Whispering Stories
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed by Stacey on

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 Jab
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young swimmers and would-be divers
Recommended to Hilary by: Found in the library
When Jabari goes to an outdoor pool with his family he decides to give the diving board a go. Although when he gets up there, it looks a lot higher and scarier than from below. I liked the way dad encouraged him, no pressure but trying to help him achieve what he wanted to do.

A bright and sunny book that shows a lovely day a the pool in the summer and a childhood milestone!
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every once in awhile, a story comes along and fills a hole in the picture book universe. Maybe we knew about the void, like how few children’s books feature main characters of color, or perhaps we only realize what we’ve been missing in retrospect, like tales with a competent, emotionally attentive male caregiver. Through a carefully crafted plot and wonderfully expressive illustrations, Jabari Jumps does just that, claiming a spot in the story-time queue it won’t soon relinquish.

In her debut pi
Jillian Heise
I loved this book! Lovely illustrations, diverse characters, and an important message that it's OK to be scared of something new (jumping off the diving board the first time - something many can relate to) and how to be brave in facing those fears. This book is a delight, and I am eager to share it with kids.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

Big clear words and pictures with views from below and above fill the pages of Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall. I loved the view from the diving board with “his toes curled around the rough edge”.

This adorable story with one cute-as-can-be goggle wearing boy named Jabari is filled with bravery and deep breaths and patience. A story that says when you’re ready, take a deep breath, and JUMP!

You just might surprise yourself if you dig down deep and find the courage to do something that scares you.

Mississippi Library Commission
At a pool nestled in a tiny haven in the middle of a big city and set against a backdrop of cool summer colors, Jabari prepares to jump from the high dive for the very first time. He's a little nervous, though, and tries his best to be Joe Cool nonchalant about it. Dad comes to the rescue with some well-timed words of wisdom,
"Sometimes if I feel a little scared, I take a deep breath and tell myself I'm ready. And you know what? Sometimes it stops feeling scary and feels a little like a surprise
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A cute book about a little boy who is ready for a challenge and decides to face his fears. His Dad has some good advice for him.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture, children-s, 2017
I loved this book! I loved that the dad took a brother and sister to the pool. I loved the city in the background. I loved the water and Jabari's swim trunks. I loved the depictions of Jabari nervous to jump off the diving board and then the joy when he finally does it. A great choice for summer reading, kids who are nervous about doing something new, and highlighting how support from your family can help you make a leap.
Katey Howes
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kids will immediately feel familiar with Jabari's experience of wanting to jump off the diving board...but also feeling not-quite-ready. With a calm, supportive father there to provide just enough encouragement, Jabari finds the inner strength to conquer his fears. Beautiful illustrations complement this must-read picture book.
Baby Bookworm
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Today’s book is Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall, a sweet and simple story with an important lesson on overcoming fears.

Jabari has come to a decision: he is ready to go off the high diving board like the other kids. His father asks if he’s sure, and Jabari thinks he is: he’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swimming test. Still, when he sees how high the board is, he be
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poc-mcs, childrens
A wonderful book about thinking you are ready to do something, getting so nervous that you aren't sure you can do it anymore, and overcoming your nervousness (with help!) so that you are able to do it after all. A wonderful message.

I was also ridiculously excited because it had representation of a black family and wasn't centered around a Big Serious Issue (civil rights, police brutality, discrimination, slavery, etc). Books that do that are vital, but books that have representation of black peo
Monica Rohrbach
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story describes how Jabari, a little boy, overcomes his fears at the swimming pool. Jabari has finished his swimming lessons and passed his test and now feels he’s ready to conquer his fear of the diving board. His dad reassures him that it’s okay to be scared and helps him reframe his thoughts by seeing his actions as leading to a surprise. Jabari loves surprises, so this helps him eventually take the leap confidently off the board and into the pool.

The book received the Charlotte Zolotow
Susannah Goldstein
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
4.5. Great, great great. A lovely small moments book. I love the color palette, the perspective scenes that make the diving board seem really intimidating, and the interactions between Jabari and his dad.
Sara Cook
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The perfect illustration and story of everyone's first time off the high dive.
Really cute story about being brave. I loved Jabari and his family. Monarch 2019 nominee.
Chana Stiefel
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Remember the anxiety of trying something new? In her lovely debut picture book about facing your fears, Gaia Cornwall captures that experience through her adorable character Jabari, a young boy who courageously proclaims to his dad, "I'm jumping off the diving board today." Watching the other kids dive makes Jabari seem outwardly brave, but inside he's nervous. "When his dad squeezed his hand, Jabari squeezed back." Jabari's sweet excuses pile up until his dad says, "Sometimes if I feel a little ...more
This book checks off almost all of the things I like in a picture book. The illustrations are really cute and lovely, the characters are diverse, the story is relatable, the ending is happy and kind of funny, it's got a nice portrayal of a dad taking care of kids by himself (either because he's a single dad or because the other parent happens to be elsewhere)...but it's too nice somehow? Like it kind of gives me Caillou vibes which maybe is just my bias against Caillou showing. And...I did just ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very beautiful illustrations and story. About self-confidence, encouragement, and the fear that comes with wanting to accomplish something.
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
A child’s very first jump into a pool can be an exciting moment though often it is not without a little trepidation beforehand. Now that Jabari has finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, he tells his dad that today is the day he is going to jump off the diving board - after all, he’s not the least bit scared. But as Jabari approaches the ladder leading to the board, some of his bravado seems to fade, as the lets other kids go ahead of him as he thinks about what kind of dive to ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jabari is excited...and quite jump off the high dive. He prepares himself for it, begins to climb and becomes too afraid. His patient, loving father tells him that it's okay to feel scared. And he gives him this wonderful advice...sometimes when he feels scared, he takes a deep breath and tells himself he is ready. That helps him turn the scary thing into an exciting thing. And with that advice, Jabari JUMPS! The illustrations are really can see how high the high div ...more
Kristine Hansen
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the ultimate summertime book to read. The story is told so well - about a boy trying to find the courage to try something brand new - jumping off the diving board at the local pool. Wow, do I remember being where he was, and that whole back and forth feeling of wanting to do it, but being scared to. His dad gives him the best advice ever, and allows him to try this on his own terms, which is great.

The illustrations are perfect, the story is well told. I can't praise this book more. It'
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Such a delightful story of Jabari, his father, and younger sister who all visit the local pool to see Jabari jump off the big diving board. Jabari is understandably nervous, seeing as he just passed his swim lessons, to jump off the super tall board, but with encouragement from his dad and sister, he makes a big splash!

I love the themes of mindfulness for children, how it's ok to be nervous or scared about something new, and the diversity in this book.
pool spy
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Read this at storytime yesterday and the kids loved it. Lots of good actions and noises we could make as we read - Splash! noises and doing stretches and taking deep breaths etc. Has beautiful illustrations too. I really liked the part where Jabari and his dad talk about how it's okay to be scared sometimes. Did a craft activity afterwards where we made a popout diving board with glued on ladder rungs above a pool which we drew ourselves in.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story is simple but most kids can relate to some kind of swimming challenge, whether putting their head under, jumping in, or, like Jabari, trying the diving board. What really stood out for me was how the author portrayed the relationship between Jabari and his dad. The support of Jabari’s family is with him, even when he’s making his own decisions. I also loved diversity of the characters and the subtle but playful use of different textures in the artwork.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
What positive encouragement! No embarrassment or pressure as this young boy decides he wants to go off the high jump into the pool, but takes a while to get mentally prepared.
There could be a variety of times to share this with others, including older folks experiencing changes in their lives.
Hannah Higson
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story is about a little boy having the confidence to jump off of the diving board.
This book shows that dads can look after the kids all day - there is no reference of mum.
Dad also tells Jabari that it is ok to be scared - challenging masculine roles.
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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 (Candlewick Press, May 2017,) is her debut picture book. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island. You can see more of her work at
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