Jabari decides that on today’s trip to the swimming pool he will jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons, he’s a great jumper, and ‘he’s not scared at all’. But as the moment to climb the ladder gets nearer, apprehension and nerves appear, not that Jabari will admit it (he climbs back down as he’s a little too tired, and has forgotten to do his stretches).
His dad shares with him his own strategy for coping with fears: take a deep breath and tell yourself you’re ready, which can make fear feel more like a surprise (and Jabari loves surprises!) Jabari finds the courage to jump, cheered on by his dad and little sister…and can’t wait to try again.
This brilliant picture book features stunning illustrations which use angles and perspective to emphasis the height of the board; you can sense Jabari’s fear as you look down on the pool from his bird’s eye view, his toes curling round the edge of the board. The story acts as a gentle reminder for adults of the importance of patiently empathising with children when they’re dealing with challenging emotions.