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Annotation: In this story about being true to oneself, a boy searches for the secret to doing the perfect cannonball into the water ... more
Catalog Number: #219727
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Illustrator: Morgan, Josh,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-7282-1756-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8428-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-7282-1756-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8428-3
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2019059025
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
A young Maori boy dreams about doing the perfect cannonball, and his Nan, a former champion, encourages him. When he hesitates to jump in public, he feels ashamed. Friends and family give him varied advice, but ultimately he loses confidence under the weight of their suggestions. Seeing this, Nan urges him to listen to his heart and jump his own way. So he dons face paint, a feather boa, and rhinestone-studded Speedos, and proudly warns others to watch out for his cannonball! The strength of this book, an award winner from New Zealand, is its expressive digital artwork, which uses vibrant colors to depict the lush setting. One striking page features a scene framed by the silhouettes of people laughing at the dejected boy. Yet there is humor in the illustrations as well, such as the yellow duck floaty that looks mournful post belly flop. One element that may detract slightly is the corny rhyme the boy sings before each jump. However, this story's message for kids to be true to themselves is one that bears repeating.
Kirkus Reviews
In this New Zealand import, a young Maori child in pursuit of the perfect cannonball seeks the source of confidence to jump from up high.Doing an amazing cannonball is a source of pride in this community. The narrator, a brown-skinned child, has been studying cannonballs and learning from Nan. But once at the edge of the diving board, the will to jump fizzles. A little chant helps. Advice from all the onlookers only weighs this jumper down. When someone tells the learner “cannonballs aren’t for you,” Nan offers other advice: “Listen to your heart, to your mind….Do it your way.” When the child listens to what’s inside, a whole new world of self-expression opens up. All dressed up with flowers, feathers, and face paint, the aspiring diver shouts out loud instead of whispering the chant, then, over two spreads, flies and rolls through the air before landing with a big splash—and an appropriate celebration for the accomplishment. This distinctive story of summer fun and growth, set within a culture underrepresented on North American shelves, carries a universal message of listening to one’s own heart and being oneself when the world tries to tell you how and who to be. Morgan, who is of Maori descent, uses bright colors and creative layouts on white space and dark backgrounds to trace the child’s journey from student to star.A creative treat. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)
School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 3 In this story of resilience, a young boy in New Zealand just wants to perform a perfect cannonball into the swimming pool. The unnamed boy has studied how others prepare for their jump and got advice from his Nan. Despite the boy's best efforts to seem confident, fear gets in the way and prevents him from making the jump. Morgan surrounds an image of the young boy in utter darkness as he walks away with his head down in defeat. Just when it seems all hope is lost, Nan steps in and encourages him to listen to what's inside himself and try it his way. His confidence begins to build and he is able to perform a successful cannonball. The images are bright and detailed. VERDICT Recommended for purchase. Along with the expressive images, the story will resonate with those learning how to navigate the emotional minefield of turning a failure into a success. Katie Callahan, Montgomery County Public Sch., MD
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review (6/1/20)
ALA Booklist (5/1/20)
Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2
Lexile: AD520L

In this story about being true to oneself, a boy searches for the secret to doing the perfect cannonball into the water with training from Nan, an expert and former champion. By listening to his own voice, he finds his unique style and pulls off a wonderful, acrobatic, truly awe-inspiring cannonball.

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