Mr. Cornell's Dream Boxes

Illustrated by Jeanette Winter
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About The 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 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.

About The Author

Drawing by Jeanette Winter

Jeanette Winter is a renowned picture book creator whose acclaimed works include Nanuk the Ice BearMalala, A Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, A Brave Boy from Pakistan: Two Stories of BraveryHenri’s ScissorsBiblioburro: A True Story from ColombiaThe Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq; and Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (August 2014)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781442499003
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8
  • Lexile ® AD580L

Raves and Reviews

"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."

– Booklist, June 2014

"Winter's lyrical prose is true to the gentle strangeness of Cornell's work."

– Publishers Weekly, May 2014

"A gentle homage to artist Joseph Cornell explores artistic inspiration for very young readers and listeners. . . . Winter offers a look at a form of artistic expression within reach of her audience. . . . Winter’s digitally rendered art is delicate and inviting. . . [she] 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."

– Kirkus Reviews

"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. . . . Winter's playful and collagelike illustrations re-create many of his well-known works in a style that complements Cornell's own aesthetic. . . . 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."

– School Library Journal, July 2014

Awards and Honors

  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • Kansas State Reading Circle List PrimaryTitle
  • MSTA Reading Circle List

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Jeanette Winter