Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans

illus. by John Parra. 44p. Chronicle. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452125787. LC 2013043742.
K-Gr 2—A modern-day folktale about Cornelius Washington, a real-life figure who was a dynamic street sweeper in New Orleans. The working man, aka Marvelous Cornelius, can be seen doing fun tricks and flips while sweeping the streets of the Quarter. When Hurricane Katrina hits the city, Cornelius is overwhelmed by the cleanup, but volunteers come from everywhere to help. He soon finds his NOLA spirit and begins cleaning again in the aftermath of the great storm. Parra's paintings are modern and fresh, with bright colors paired with repetition of phrases and sounds. Children will enjoy both listening to the story read aloud as well as poring over the beautiful pages to learn about a slice of New Orleans history.
VERDICT A stirring story of resilience in the face of adversity.

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