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Gaia Cornwall Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jabari Books

Publication Order of Picture Books

The Best Bed for Me (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Gaia Cornwall is a children’s picture book author and illustrator from Providence, Rhode Island, where she lives with her programmer husband and their daughter and son. She has said that she does not remember a time when she was not drawing or when she did not have anything to say when she encountered a picture book.

Cornwall went to the Pratt Institute, an art school from where she studied animation. Following her graduation, she did a lot of fun things that included working on a documentary, producing a film festival, animating cartoons for film and network television, and babysitting for several families in her neighborhood.

It was a rudderless period in her life but she used it to start writing and illustrating books as these activities offered her enough time to do what she loved best.
“Jabari Jumps,” her debut was first published in 2017 and was the launchpad for her writing and illustrating career. Gaia usually starts her illustrative pieces with paper and pencil before finishing them off digitally.

She has said that she approaches each project like a complex puzzle composed of evershifting pieces. Her work has been featured in various forms of print, online, in murals, interactive games, in films, and assorted products.

Growing up as a child, drawing was something that Gaia Cornwall loved but never writing. On the other hand, writing as a career choice was not something she ever thought she would ever pursue.

In fact, even after she published “Jabari Jumps,” her debut novel she never considered herself a writer as she still believed she was more of an illustrator.
Still, reading is something that she has been doing for a long time starting in childhood. Even before she could technically read she remembers thumbing through stacks of picture books and enjoying the simple stories told therein.

Having started out with an interest in picture books it was not surprising that she would end up writing them in adulthood. Picture books made a big impression on the young Cornwall, but she always thought that the people who made them were geniuses she could never emulate.

She was intimidated for years and this explains why she worked all manner of odd jobs while she had so much talent and passion for children’s fiction. One of her favorite things about children’s fiction is that they tend to foster a feeling that one is holding little packages of fine art.
She finds inspiration for her works from the children’s expressions, the little moments and big feelings she gets from observing real life.

For Gaia Cornwall, writing her works is always a long term endeavor. She worked on different versions of her debut novel “Jabari Jumps” for well over six years before she got a publishing house interested in 2014.

Since the work would eventually be published in 2017, it can be said that it took between three and ten years to get her work out there. Luckily, she works with Emily Van Beek, her wonderful agent among many other partners who worked hard to ensure she got published.

When Cornwall is not writing her novels she loves spending time with her husband, her two children,their dog and two cats. Between homeschooling and work, she usually has a very full schedule. Still, she makes time for engaging in her passion for cooking and reading.

“Jabari Jumps” by Gaia Cornwall introduces Little Jabari, a boy who passed his swim test following some rigorous swimming lessons. Once he was done with his training, he knew he was ready to jump off the diving board. Watching the other kids jump off the board he thought it would be easy.
But when he came to the board and saw how high it was, he became scared even though he would never let anyone know of his fear. Jabari’s father knew that his son was scared as he had told him that it was fine that he was scared, as even he too was sometimes scared.
The good thing about talking to his father is that he had given him instructions on what to do when he felt scared. Using the techniques given to him by his father, he jumps off the board for a perfect dive.
It is a short but very sweet children’s book that follows a small boy as he tries to gather the courage he needs to become a diver. The work shows that it is okay and normal for children to be scared as everyone at some point in time was scared too.

Gaia Cornwall’s “Jabari Tries” sees Jabari make a comeback as he goes on yet another adventure. This time around he is in the backyard trying to build a flying machine. In the background is his father who is engaged in gardening while Nika, his butterfly clad sister flits about.

He initially insisted on working alone but eventually, he lets his sister help him. Ultimately, his flying machine crashes and his father has to step in once again to help him deal with his frustration. Pulling himself together, he makes another attempt alongside his sister and finally manages to make his machine fly.

This is a brilliant story about a young African American child, his experiences trying to build something and how his family helps him in his endeavors. It combines expressive artwork made with collage, watercolor and pencil with an engaging story to make an excellent children’s fiction book.

Readers will particularly love the warm family dynamic as the boy gets the help of his father who offers words of wisdom and helps Jabari find success.

“The Best Bed for Me” by Gaia Cornwall is a different book from her previous Jabari novels. It is a great bedtime story that tells of a boy with a passion for animal facts and a lively imagination. Sweet Pea’s mother wants her to settle into bed but knows that she would not sleep as it is not yet time.

While it is a fluffy bed, Sweet Pea thinks that sleeping in the spacious wide oceans where whales enjoy the waters or throwing herself in the mud like a pig would be preferable.

Sweet Pea also believes that hanging upside down like the bats or sleeping like a koala up high in a tree would be a lot of fun. She also likes how the emperor penguin sleeps standing up and thinks it would be so relaxing.

But after she tries sleeping inthe different ways of all the animals she knows, she learns that there is nothing better than the soft billow and comfortable bed made for her by her mother.

It is a humorous and loving story that will get even the most stubborn child to go to sleep.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Gaia Cornwall

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