As one might guess from the book’s title, an otherwise unnamed boy with bangs that cover his eyes is obsessed with bouncing on his trampoline.
He bounces from morning to night, reaching magical heights,
from which he is able to see red-winged blackbirds flying past, “airplanes
drawing curly-cues,” and “wispy white clouds.” His obsession draws unwelcome
attention from passing schoolchildren, who mock his constant bouncing. “Can’t
you do anything else?” they taunt. “He is so weird” The boy’s lack of social
connection suggests he may be on the spectrum. Only one child is
drawn into his bouncy, magical world, an extremely shy and hesitant little girl
named Peaches. She watches him for a
long time before he notices her. Finally he realizes that Peaches is not
mocking and really wants to know “what you see / up there in that blue, blue
sky.” They stare into each other’s eyes and, holding hands, they bounce up and
up and up. An unusual tall format, ideal for the vertical subject matter, and
Arbona’s bright, quirky postmodern illustrations make this an attractive
production. Both children have pale skin; Peaches' eyes are open wide, while Trampoline Boy's appear permanently closed when they aren't obscured by his bangs, which heightens his emotional distance. While the connection between outsiders is warming, it is oblique, as wispy as the clouds they bounce through. Safety-conscious adults will suck their teeth at the trampoline, which does not have even a net around it.
Doesn’t get off the ground. (Picture book. 3-6)