Jabari works hard to build a gizmo that flies, but his best modification may be inspired by his partner.
When Jabari announces his machine will fly “all the way across” their spacious, landscaped yard, he is certain he won’t need any help. While his father gardens and his younger sister plays, Jabari builds a launch ramp, sends his machine through, and…crash! Little Nika wants in on the fun, but Jabari is “concentrating.” He takes inspiration from inventors and engineers, who use creativity and hard work to solve their problems. He plans, sketches, builds, and tries and tries again. He lets Nika help out, reluctantly at first, and when he gets so frustrated he wants to cry, he takes his father’s advice: gathering his patience and blowing away his “muddy feelings.” When he tries once more, with a clear head and support from his pint-sized partner, he discovers a change that makes his machine—and his confidence—soar. This generously sized picture book offers a lovely picture of mentorship and healthy relationships in the context of a thriving Black family with dark skin tones. Jabari’s emotional ups and downs will be familiar to young children, and his hard-won success feels triumphant. Cornwall’s clean, clear illustrations use patterns, green hues, and white space to deliver a variety of effective scenes.
Jabari succeeds, and so does this book.(Picture book. 3-9)