Author: Cotter, Sacha
Determined to execute the perfect cannonball dive, a boy tries to follow everyone's advice but finally hears Nan, an expert and former champion, who advises doing it his own way.
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2020 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. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 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 - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.