Sometimes I’ll read a picture book that really stands out to me. Above the normal expectations of having a fabulous story (with plot, and character devolvement, etc.), some picture books also have exceptional elements – maybe the humor (I love a funny picture book), a clever twist, overwhelming emotion that tugs on my heartstrings, language so lovely it sings, or an ending that brilliantly loops back to the beginning.
Which brings me to, Marvelous Cornelius by Phil Bildner. This book is so full of poetic techniques and wonderful lines that I find myself reading it over and over and over again. It’s like a play date at a poetic playground! For me, this book is the mentor text to use for language.
Whether it be the alliteration,
“He saluted the silver-haired man…”
“He waved to the couple with the baby on the balcony.”
“My young ‘uns!” he called to the kids crowding the corner.”
“Unloading the garbage, not a single praline wrapper ever stayed on the streets. And those spotless streets, oh, how they sparkled.”
“He clapped the covers like cymbals and twirled the tins like tops.”
“People and pets, parks and playgrounds, washed away.
Schools and shops, streets and streetcars, washed away.”
“The barbers, bead twirlers and beignet bakers.”
Or the most genius of lines:
“A gumbo of mush and mud.”
And two of my favorites…
He dried his eyes.
For his spirit and will were
“They streamed into the Crescent City.
A flood of humanity.”
I could go on and on, but then I’d have the whole book retyped here and I’d ruin the magic that awaits you in Marvelous Cornelius by Phil Bildner.