cover image Trampoline Boy

Trampoline Boy

Nan Forler, illus. by Marion Arbona. Tundra, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-77049-830-3

Seen in an introductory close-up, Trampoline Boy’s bangs are so long that they flop over the child’s eyes. He loves jumping on his backyard trampoline, and the book’s trim size—tall and narrow—emphasizes the verticality of his quiet, solitary pursuit. His gravity-defying bounces take him into the realm of red-winged blackbirds, fluffy clouds, and airplanes. The neighborhood kids jeer, but Trampoline Boy bounces on. Peaches, another neighbor, waits patiently for him to notice her. When he doesn’t, she speaks: “I wish I could see what you see up there in that blue, blue sky.” They jump together up into a place beyond the real, which Arbona (The Good Little Book) portrays with a riot of forms and colors: kite tails, rainbows, feathers—a place “where the world was clear and true.” Sometimes, Forler’s story suggests, it’s enough if just one other person recognizes the gift someone has to offer. Whether it leads to a place of fantasy or just a sense of physical release, kids who have experienced the liberating joy of jumping will understand Trampoline Boy’s obsession. Ages 3–7. [em](Mar.) [/em]