Mr. Cornell's Dream Boxes: with audio recording [NOOK Book]


Children young and old will delight in the artistic splendor of this illustrated nonfiction tale from the author of Henri’s Scissors, which Booklist called an “exemplary picture-book biography.”

Joseph Cornell loved to draw and paint and collect things. With these drawings and paintings and collected treasures, he made marvelous shadowboxes—wonderlands covered in glass. And ...
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Children young and old will delight in the artistic splendor of this illustrated nonfiction tale from the author of Henri’s Scissors, which Booklist called an “exemplary picture-book biography.”

Joseph Cornell loved to draw and paint and collect things. With these drawings and paintings and collected treasures, he made marvelous shadowboxes—wonderlands covered in glass. And who did he most like to share them with? Children, of course. For they noticed all the details and took in all the magic Mr. Cornell had created.

In this inspiring nonfiction picture book, Jeanette Winter has painted a moving portrait of a New York artist who always felt his work was best understood by children.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Finally, a children's picture book about the artist Joseph Cornell. And for someone whose work was so connected to childhood, memory, and dreams, it's about time. For much of the 20th century, Cornell made shadow boxes intricately filled with a flotsam of ephemera and found objects. While his work was exhibited at the premiere galleries in New York City, Cornell went out of his way to connect with a younger audience, sometimes even giving shadow boxes to neighborhood children, who would return the "toys" in exchange for others when they were done playing with them. Winter's playful and collagelike illustrations re-create many of his well-known works in a style that complements Cornell's own aesthetic. Succinct text details his life in Queens, NY, and the recurring themes of his art. While concepts and theories about art and artists can often be difficult to present to young children, this picture-book biography is particularly accessible and can serve as an ideal gateway to more advanced books on the subject. Teachers and librarians can use this work to explore a unique contribution at the forefront of modern art; children will be inspired to dream and create on their own.—Billy Parrott, New York Public Library
Publishers Weekly
Winter follows her picture-book biographies of artists including Matisse, O’Keeffe, and Rivera with a look at reclusive artist Joseph Cornell, who made glass-fronted wooden boxes filled with delicate, surreal collections of objects—star charts, cutouts of parrots and ballerinas, marbles in wineglasses—all crafted in the cellar of his home on the marvelously named Utopia Parkway. “He saw only dreams and memories, and he filled his boxes with them.” Winter connects specific memories from Cornell’s life with the creations they grew into, showing each memory in a cloud of periwinkle blue on left-hand pages (“Mr. Cornell remembered blowing soap bubbles”) opposite the box it inspired (a pipe emitting what look like white seashells). While Winter’s lyrical prose is true to the gentle strangeness of Cornell’s work, the digital artwork, done in the style of flat tempera painting, doesn’t convey the fine detail of the boxes, and no photographs of them are included. An afterword supplies more information (Cornell arranged his last exhibition for children, hanging the boxes low for them to see), but the few photos there focus on the viewers, not the work. Ages 4–8. Agent: Susan Cohen, Writers House. (Aug.)
June 2014 Booklist
"Dreams and memories were Cornell’s inspiration for his iconic boxes, and here they take up whole pages.... An author’s note about the last exhibition Cornell attended, a show held exclusively for children, makes his work even more accessible for the picture-book set. This breezy introduction to an uncommon artist serves as a welcoming invitation for budding artists to explore their own creativity."
Kirkus Reviews
A gentle homage to artist Joseph Cornell explores artistic inspiration for very young readers and listeners.Winter presents Cornell in the context of home on Utopia Parkway: caring for his brother upstairs, dreaming in his backyard, assembling his unique shadow boxes in the cellar of the house in Queens, New York, where artists and collectors eventually come to visit, as the author’s note reveals. Winter offers a look at a form of artistic expression within reach of her audience, explaining that Cornell was neither painter nor sculptor, yet he created “WONDERLANDS covered in glass.” She charmingly discloses that Cornell loved sweets and imagines child readers or listeners as one of the neighbors Cornell might have invited to a special exhibit of his boxes. Winter’s digitally rendered art is delicate and inviting. Images repeat and transform from imagined glimpses through the windows of Cornell’s house to a view into the artist’s dreams and memories. The plain outlines of his house are overlaid with images of a swan and a moon in one illustration, bright birds in another. She conveys the dreamlike quality of his work, even when strange or disquieting: “He remembered learning about stars, / and how the endless sky scared him.”Winter captures in two dimensions a great deal of the evocative nature of Cornell’s three-dimensional work in a way that will be intriguing for the very young. (Picture book/biography. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442499027
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books
  • Publication date: 8/19/2014
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: NOOK Kids Read to Me
  • Edition description: No Edition
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD580L (what's this?)
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

Jeanette Winter is the acclaimed author/illustrator of many highly regarded picture books, including The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq; Mama: A True Story in Which a Baby Hippo Loses His Mama During a Tsunami, but Finds a New Home, and a New Mama; Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa; Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan; Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia; Henri’s Scissors; Mr. Cornell’s Dream Boxes; and Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan. She lives with her husband, artist Roger Winter, in New York.
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