Mr. Cornell's Dream Boxes

by Jeanette Winter

An eye-opening introduction for children to the work of artist Joseph Cornell, who... read more

An eye-opening introduction for children to the work of artist Joseph Cornell, who created enchanting shadow boxes, begins, “If you had lived on Utopia Parkway not so long ago ...” It goes on to describe what a child walking by Mr. Cornell’s house might have seen, even as she or he went unseen: “Mr. Cornell wouldn’t have noticed you looking in. He saw mostly dreams and memories, and he filled his boxes with them.” Jeanette Winter deftly incorporates factual elements of Cornell’s life, as well as things he pondered and imagined that inspired his art, into a quietly captivating narrative. Despite the text’s brevity, Winter also weaves in small, child–friendly details, like Cornell’s love for sweets, and his delight in sharing his dream boxes with children. Her stylized art emphasizes small scenes and individual elements suggestive of the shadow boxes. An author’s note with black-and-white photographs further grounds the narrative in details of Cornell’s life and his desire to share his work, especially with children. (Ages 5–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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