Conversations with Children's Books

Conversations with Children’s Books: Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall

I love children’s books and it is not because I am a parent and used to teach elementary school. I love children’s book because they distill really powerful lessons in simple and joyful ways. During my wellness events, I often read a children’s book to center participants on a theme or question. It is usually met with joy because it feels good to have someone read to you and it is a joyful way to reflect on important life lessons.

I have been holding on to this and recently co-founded the Room 5 Show with my husband Terron. Room 5 is sparking curious conversations with children’s books for children of all ages (yes that includes your inner child, too!)

I am excited about what is ahead for Room 5 and want to share this excitement with you in the “Conversations with Childrens Books” series on my blog. This will be a space where I share diverse children’s books and the gems that we can reflect on in as we think about our own lives. Consider if your creative, childlike mindfulness practice.

Let’s get into our first conversation about “Jabari Tries” by Gaia Cornwall

What the book is about: Jabari, a young engineer in the making, is struggling to build a flying machine. After many unsuccessful attempts, he ends up getting really frustrated with his project. After learning some ways to calm down from his father and enlisting the help of his little sister, Jabari makes his goal happen!

Why I love it: I live to see portrayals of Black people having the permission and safe space to experiment and express their true feelings. In a world that often tries to silence Black folks, this is a powerful affirmation of what children and adults should be encouraged to do. I also love that very honest experience of trying, failing, and needing to ask for help. I know I have some issues asking for help and I totally understood when Jabari was resistant to help at first!

The questions I am asking: I have a new question every time I read this book, but a few that come to mind:

-During my childhood, how did I learn to navigate uncomfortable emotions? How does that affect how I express these emotions now?

-Do I give myself the chance to try and fail as I learn new things?

-How can I provide safe/more open spaces for me (and my child) to express emotions like frustration and anger?

-How can we normalize Black people experimenting, failing, and expressing a full range of emotions?

Thanks for joining me for Conversations with Children’s Book. Check back next week for more curious conversations with children’s books!

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Want to listen to a reading of Jabari Tries? Head over to the Room 5 Show Youtube Channel!

Interested in getting a copy of this book? Visit your local library or purchase from Bookshop that supports local bookstores.

*Note: This post contains affiliate links.  If you click my link and make a purchase, that means I may receive “word of mouth” money at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I have actually used and enjoy.

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