Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mr. Cornell's Dream Box by Jeanette Winter

This is a wonderful nonfiction book for kids about the artist Joseph Cornell, the miniaturist who created boxes filled with worlds.What's great about this book is that it's told from the perspective of a child. "If you lived on Utopia Parkway not so long ago you might have walked by this house." A window is shown with Joseph inside thinking about the memories he hoped to capture in each box: penny arcades, dioramas, snow globes, the stars in the "endless sky" etc. Jeanette Winter's illustration style is very folk art-inspired which captures a certain whimsy about Cornell. At the end of the book is a short biography which mentions certain things about Cornell that I didn't know: he lived with his brother who had cerebral palsy, sold textiles for a living (until he achieved some success with his art) and enjoyed children. Joseph Cornell liked children so much that he held an exhibit just for them with brownies and cola for refreshment and his art displayed at their height.

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