Jabari Tries

Written & Illustrated by: Gaia Cornwall

For Ages: 4-8 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Black Protagonists, Social-Emotional Learning, Family.

Summary: Jabari is back, and I couldn’t be more excited! Most of you know Gaia Cornwall’s first book Jabari Jumps, and how much we love it. In this second story, the reader learns more about Jabari’s younger sister Nika as Jabari tries to build a flying machine in the backyard.

Staunchly resisting help, Jabari ignores Nika’s statements of “Me!” as he works and reworks his plans. Becoming frustrated and feeling defeated, a talk with his dad helps Jabari work through his feeling and calm down. Eventually letting Nika help, will the pair be able to work together and see success?

This book is so lovely in many ways. The social-emotional learning aspect, mindfulness technique Jabari’s dad gives him, and the epic fashion sense of Nika the fairy pirate. Seriously, goals. Jabari’s dad is the encouraging adult I wish to be, providing support and suggesting teamwork but not forcing it. The illustrations are bright and I love the way some of the text is integrated into the pictures. Absolutely worth a read, a purchase or library checkout, and as inspiration for your own flying machine!

This book was kindly sent by Candlewick Press, but all opinions are my own. Make sure to check out the podcast episode that interviews Gaia, which is out now!

Gaia Cornwall

  Gaia Cornwall spends her days working from home, as her brilliant husband codes furiously at MojoTech, her human offspring toddle/zoom around, and their older, feline siblings keep them all in line. After graduating from Pratt Institute, she worked on a variety of projects {–including producing a film festival, animating cartoons for network television and film, and working on a documentary–} that gradually led her back to one of her first loves: illustration.

Most of her pieces start with good ol’ pencil and paper, and are then finished digitally. She approaches each project like an intricate puzzle made up of many, and ever-shifting, pieces: Who’s the audience? How can I make this visually exciting? What does the client want?– It’s a trick to get all the moving parts to fit. But it’s a process she loves. Her work has been featured online, in interactive games, on assorted products, in films, as murals, and in various forms of print.

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