Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Story About Conquering Fear

When I was a kid, I took swimming lessons at the local YMCA. My most vivid memory is of jumping off the diving board into the deep end of the pool. In my mind’s eye, the water below the diving board is dark. I cannot see what is beneath the surface. I remember wanting to be anywhere but there as a climbed up the ladder to take my place at the edge, but there were other kids behind me. “Go”, they urged me as I looked back in doubt, so I jumped.

Jabari Jumps, a picture book written and illustrated by Gaia Cornwall, is about a boy who faces a situation most kids face at some point in their youth. Jabari has taken swimming lessons and passed his swim test. The last hurdle he has to face is jumping off the diving board. He is pretty sure his is ready for it. Jabari isn’t the least bit scared as he watches the other kids accomplish the feat, but when it is his turn to stand and the bottom of the ladder and make his way up, he has second thoughts.

Jabari is many of us when we face a scary or intimidating situation. We don’t necessarily throw ourselves in with abandon. We might look back a little, wondering if maybe, just maybe, there is some way we can get out of it with our dignity intact.

They say everything you want is on the other side of fear. Jabari Jumps is about conquering fear and getting to the other side. It is a book that every kid can relate to even if they haven’t jumped off a diving board because fear is a universal emotion.

Watch the book trailer below:

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