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Jabari Jumps

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,601 ratings  ·  501 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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 ·  2,601 ratings  ·  501 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
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
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
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
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.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t normally add the picture books I read to Aaron on here, but this one is so good! I picked it out because he’s been hesitant to go in the water or participate in his swimming lessons. We’ve read this one together twice, and he has connected with Jabari and is super into the story.
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
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, 2017, children-s
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
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Children Who Are Nervous About New Endeavors, Especially Swimming or Diving
Jabari decides that he is ready to jump off the high diving board at his local swimming pool in this engaging summertime picture-book from author/illustrator Gaia Cornwall. Having finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, the young boy believes he can take that leap. Then he actually confronts the ladder to thet high board, and he finds himself a little intimidated. His loving father is there, however, to talk him through his fears, and help him take a chance...

A debut from
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
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
Nancy Kotkin
Jabari wants to try the high diving board at the municipal pool, but is he ready? A quiet book about bravery, but very effective. A large plus that the supportive parent is a dad, especially within an African American family. The art is lovely with soothing tones and a touch of mixed-media collage to add interest. Masterful manipulation of perspective enables the art to heighten dramatic tension.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Joan by: June Krell
We badly need more books encouraging young people to feel positive about swimming and diving, particularly here in Southern California! The fact that it is an African American family is icing on the cake! The positive reinforcement from the sensitive Dad is a great suggestion for parenting models. Jabari has (very properly!) learned to swim before he tries the high diving board. Although with how small Jabari is, it is difficult to be certain if this is a high diving board, or simply high to ...more
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.
Jabari goes to the pool with his dad and sister and he has big plans! He wants to jump from very high diving board, will he be able to do it?

This was a blind pick again, I was looking around for some interesting picture books when I found this one. I am so happy that my libraries are trying to get more English books in their collection. I was curious if our little boy would make it and jump of the diving board!

It all starts when Jabari and his family go to the swimming pool during the summer.
Alex  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 ...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.
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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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