LBR 035: Jabari Jumps – Making a Splash with Author Gaia Cornwall

The Lu and Bean Read podcast is back after a brief hiatus! We took some summer months off to rest and relax, but we’ve got great new authors to share again as we get ready to go back to school. On this episode, the girls interview Gaia Cornwall, author and illustrator of the picture book Jabari Jumps.
Jabari Jumps

About Jabari Jumps

Jabari Jumps is one of our favorite new picture books this summer. It’s a sweet story that’s universal to all kids—the first time you climb up to the top of the high dive and have to decide…to jump or not to jump? Jabari arrives at the pool with his dad and his sister and promptly declares that today is the day. Or at least he thinks so. Maybe. Or maybe not. While he decides, he does his stretches, plans his approach, and discusses his ideas with his dad. Will he jump? Kids of all ages will relate to Jabari’s fear, excitement and indecision as he goes through this common childhood rite of passage. Jabari Jumps was published by Candlewick Press.

About Gaia Cornwall

Gaia Cornwall is an illustrator who loves making patterns for surface design, illustrating for children, and writing picture books. After graduating from Pratt Institute, she worked on a variety of projects—including producing a film festival, animating cartoons for network television and film, and working on a documentary–that gradually led her back to one of her first loves: illustration.

She is currently working on several picture books, a middle grade novel, various surface design collections, and making websites for writers.

Books we discussed

Here are the books we discussed on this episode, and a few more that Gaia recommends for families who love Jabari Jumps.

Your podcast feedback

We have been on hiatus with the podcast this month while we explored new ideas and collected feedback from listeners. We asked you to respond to a short survey to learn more about what you liked about the podcast and what you would change. Here’s what you told us:

There was no clear direction on what other content people would value. There were relatively equal votes for ideas such as: activities to complement the books, recommendations for other books readers might like, or interviews with other people in the book world.

Thanks for your help planning the future of the podcast. Congratulations to Abe, who won a copy of My Reading Adventures for filling out the survey (check your email for instructions from us)! We plan to start publishing new episodes again in July 2017. Until then, you can listen to old episodes at

LBR 034: Fancy Party Gowns with Author Deborah Blumenthal

Fancy Party Gowns by Deborah Blumenthal

Episode 34 of the Lu and Bean Read podcast features author Deborah Blumenthal and her picture book Fancy Party Gowns.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that Lu and Bean Read may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) on products purchased through external vendors.

Deborah Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and nutritionist who now divides her time between writing children’s books and adult novels. She has been a regular contributor to The New York Times (including four years as the Sunday New York Times Magazine beauty columnist), and a home design columnist for Long Island Newsday. Her health, fitness, beauty, travel, and feature stories have appeared widely in many other newspapers and national magazines including New York’s Daily News, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Self, and Vogue. (Oh, and the Lu and Bean Read Podcast. Ahem.)

Deborah’s latest picture book Fancy Party Gowns is the stunningly beautiful biography of fashion designer Ann Cole Lowe. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Lowe designed the wedding dress worn by Jacqueline Kennedy–but almost no one knew her name. Isn’t it beautiful (image thanks to InStyle).

Jackie Kennedy wedding dress

Lu and Bean selected this book for the podcast because they were so intrigued by the challenges Ann overcame, the famous women she designed for, and the many ways she “thought about what she could do, not about what she couldn’t change.”

Fancy Party Gowns is illustrated by Laura Freeman and published by Little Bee Books. Thanks to Deborah for chatting with Lu and Bean about this fantastic biography!


Books we discussed

Thanks for listening!


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