BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Trampoline Boy by Nan Forler, illustrated by Marion Arbona [in Shelf Awareness]

“Twirly-whirly,/ loop-dee-loop” takes Trampoline Boy up “into the blue, blue sky.” Each “BOING” enables him to see something new, from his own backyard to far beyond the clouds. In the morning, after school, and “until the sky turn[s] pink,” Trampoline Boy finds contentment in the consistent motion of his bright trampoline. The neighborhood kids, however, can’t understand his bouncing: “They’d scream and they’d shout,” eventually dismissing him with a jeer – “‘He is so weird.'”

A single child, Peaches, returns every morning, afternoon, and evening to watch Trampoline Boy’s effortless motion, until one day she finally speaks: “I wish I could see what you see/ up there in that blue, blue sky.” Her cautious whisper makes Trampoline Boy descend from his trampoline to “[peer] closely at her face.” “‘Show me,'” she says. With a trusting grasp of her hands, Trampoline Boy helps her climb onto his trampoline and the pair begin their “BOING BOING” upward – together.

Canadian writer Nan Forler (Bird Child) channels her own experiences teaching autistic children with inspiration she found reading Ian Brown’s The Boy in the Moon, a father’s memoir about life lessons learned from parenting a son with a rare disease. Forler never labels her Trampoline Boy beyond his epithetic description, thus welcoming young readers of all backgrounds to witness new perspectives. Artist Marion Arbona (The Good Little Book) enchantingly illustrates those changing landscapes, from the whimsical pink-to-red palette of the familiar backyard to the cool blue-and-white fantastical skyscapes above. Arbona enhances Forler’s spare text with additional energy throughout, including a comical kitty-bird-squirrel on-the-ground drama and an eye-catching kiddie fashion show of stripes and ‘shrooms. With each new “BOING,” author and artist take readers to a world “clear and true.”

Discover:The titular Trampoline Boy watches changing perspectives as he bounces ever higher, but pauses long enough to learn lessons on the ground when he takes a new friend on his sky-high adventures.

Review“Children & Young Adult,” Shelf Awareness, March 16, 2018

Readers: Children

Published: 2018


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