Books by Coco Dowley

THE WONDERFUL HAPPENED by Cynthia Rylant
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2000

In free verse, Rylant marvels at commonplace occurrences, from the hatching of a baby bird to the nightly emergence of luminescent stars. Her simple words are imbued with a sense of reverence for life in its many manifestations. The mundane mingles with the miraculous as she ponders the mechanical precision of clocks with the same sense of wonder as the beauty of an unfurling, crimson-hued rose. "There is ivy, / there are worms, / there are clocks that keep time. / there's a moon lighting up a night sky. / and most of all and best of all, / it all never ends, / for the wonderful happens / and happens again." Rylant's enumeration of wonderful things culminates with the acknowledgement of the reader's existence. However, do not look for a lesson in reproduction here. Rylant likens the creation of children to a happening such as rain or snow; weaving it into fabric of life on earth. Former Hallmark art director Dowley's cozy, folk-style illustrations are a perfect foil for Rylant's prose. Lushly colored illustrations are surrounded by detailed borders in a country motif while the full-page, full-bleed paintings in the second half depict a merry group of multicultural children enjoying the splendor of the seasons. This gracious tale gently encourages children to savor the wonders of all life surrounding them and to rejoice in that most precious gift of life: themselves. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >