I wrote & illustrated a picture book called "Jabari Jumps"! 

Published by Candlewick Press, It's available NOW wherever books are sold.

Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash.


A "Junior Library Guild" Selection 2017

Amazon #1 New Release, & an "Amazon Best Book of the Year, 2017"

THe Rhode Island 2017 Selection for the National Book Festival, Washington, D.C.

Available at all your favorite bookstores, as well as, online at:










What People Are saying!

"Cornwall captures the exquisite tingle of Jabari’s fear and excitement, which gives the book its drama. The visual details — the way the little sister’s tiny hand grips her father’s back while her father holds her brother’s hand — give the book its heart." —The New York Times Book Review

"Mixed-media images in serene muted colors, high-rise buildings above the tree line, and the intriguing addition of faded newsprint accents strengthen the urban feel of the illustrations. Jabari’s story will help assuage the fears kids experience when faced with a new and daunting adventure. A terrific seasonal storytime read-aloud that’s perfect for one-on-one sharing." —School Library Journal (starred review)

"In her debut, Cornwall places her loving black family at the center, coloring the swimming pool and park beyond in minty hues and adding whimsy with digitally collaged newspaper for skyscrapers...This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash." —Kirkus Reviews

"It’s a summertime rite of passage: jumping off the diving board for the first time. In Jabari Jumps (Candlewick, ages 4-8) Gaia Cornwall brings to vivid life this moment for one little boy…For young listeners, this lovely book is a reminder that the best summers have both challenging surprises and fun." —The Washington Post

"Finally, after words of encouragement from his patient father, Jabari makes the climb and braves the jump, a sequence viewed from various perspectives that amplify his accomplishment. A daunting gaze downward, past Jabari’s toes that curl around the edge of the board, makes the water look incredibly far away, and when seen from behind, he seems as high up as the skyscrapers in the distance. It’s a lovely, knowing account of a big “first” in a child’s life." —Publishers Weekly

Jabari is definitely almost ready to jump off the diving board.

He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. "Looks easy," says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board.

In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.


School Visits

I love doing school visits!  If you want to book a school or library visit with me, please contact Candlewick Press at appearances@candlewick.com.

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Check out "behind the scenes" pics on Instagram or just say hello!



Click here to download some fun Jabari print-ables!


Jabari Jumps: Copyright © 2017 by Gaia Cornwall. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.