Jabari Tries (Jabari)

by Gaia Cornwall (Author) Gaia Cornwall (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Series: Jabari

Jabari is inventing a machine that will fly all the way across the yard! But making it go from crash to whoosh will take grit, patience, and maybe even a little help from his sister.

Jabari is making a flying machine in his backyard! "It'll be easy. I don't need any help," he declares. But it doesn't work! Jabari is frustrated. Good thing Dad is there for a pep talk and his little sister, Nika, is there to assist, fairy wings and all. With the endearing father-child dynamic of Jabari Jumps and engaging mixed-media illustrations, Gaia Cornwall's tale shows that through perseverance and flexibility, an inventive thought can become a brilliant reality.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review

Jabari's emotional ups and downs will be familiar to young children, and his hard-won success feels triumphant... Jabari succeeds, and so does this book.

School Library Journal

Fresh after getting up the courage to jump off the diving board, Jabari starts a new project: building a flying machine. It's frustrating work, and Jabari gets angry when his little contraption crashes to the ground. With advice from his dad and help from his younger sister, Jabari gets his anger under control and refines his experiment until it soars. With an added dash of teamwork and perseverance, Cornwall successfully combines two current topics, engineering and mindful breathing, into one story. Cornwall uses metaphor to explain Jabari's internal feelings and the text flips and curls around the pages when the flying machine takes to the air. Illustrations support the text, but one outstanding spread shows readers how Jabari is inspired by BIPOC engineers, inventors, and scientists of the past. Jabari's sister, Nika, wears a different outfit on every page; it's fun to identify her cute costumes, but also confounding as to how she changes so quickly with neither her brother nor her father remarking upon it. By the time she's wearing a head-to-toe spacesuit on the final page, readers will wonder if she'll be the star of Cornwall's next book—either as an astronaut, fashion designer, or magician. VERDICT Great storytelling and compelling content should win this book readers of all ages.—Chance Lee Joyner, Haverhill P.L., MA

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Gaia Cornwall
Gaia Cornwall is an illustrator who loves making patterns for surface design. Her work can be seen in magazines, in logos, on various products, and even in movies. Jabari Jumps is her first picture book. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
September 20, 2020
BISAC categories
JUV036000 - Juvenile Fiction | Science & Technology
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
JUV011010 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
Library of Congress categories
Brothers and sisters
Problem solving
Problem solving in children
Help-seeking behavior

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