Breadcrumbs Best Book: Jabari Jumps, by Gaia Cornwall
By Gaia Cornwall
(2017) Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA
“It’s okay to feel a little scared...” In fact the diving board featured in “Jabari Jumps” kind of gives me sweaty palms just looking at it! Jabari, however, is intent on giving it a try! After a few false starts, and some loving support from his dad, Jabari does indeed - JUMP! (the title is a real give-away!) Like so many early childhood developmental hurdles, this is a big one! Gaia Cornwall’s playful, colorful illustrations truly capture a child’s-eye view of Jabari’s milestone achievement.
What I love about “Jabari Jumps” is that the only pressure Jabari feels is self-imposed. He notices and expresses his feelings every step of the way, and coaxes himself along with persistence and bravery. Children of all ages will delight in this lovely relatable tale, and they will enjoy sharing similar feelings and experiences, helping them to add richness to their all-important “feeling vocabulary.”