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Art Comes from Ordinary Objects in Imaginative Story and Picture Book Based on the Childhood of Artist Joseph Cornell

Updated on April 13, 2018
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Art and Collecting Go Hand in Hand to Create Something Beautiful

Charming book to introduce children to art and collecting
Charming book to introduce children to art and collecting | Source

Inspiring Children to Love Art with this Story and Picture Book

Candace Fleming 's The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell is an imaginative and creative read aloud that will inspire children to look around their world to find objects that they enjoy and can be used to create something beautiful. The story and picture book is based on the childhood of renowned artist Joseph Cornell. All children love to collect something and Joseph Cornell discovered early in life that collections can be used to create art that everyone can enjoy.

Joey Cornell collected anything that he found that struck his imagination. His philosophy was "If I like it, I keep it." He always kept his eyes open for anything that he could add to his collection. His collection grew to be very large and the collection finally had to be moved from his bedroom out into the family's barn. One of his sisters called Joey a pack rat and his other sister referred to his collection as trash. Joey's mom supported his collecting and she often would look for more objects to add to his collection when she went shopping. Joey's dad also supported his hobby and would often add objects to the collection. Surprise tickets to see Harry Houdini were also an inspiration for Joey to collect an old iron safe that he found one day. He considered this special find to be a magical addition to his collection. People would often ask about plans for the collection and Joey's answer was always "who knows?". The sudden loss of his dad inspired Joey to want to create something that would make his family happy because his home now felt lonely and empty. One day the idea came to him that art could be created from all of these wonderful objects. All of the objects could be organized into categories that fit together to create a museum. The museum was created and his family was in awe of Joey's project.

Gerard Dubois contributed his talent as an illustrator to this charming story.. Each page is filled with intriguing and detailed illustrations that help to tell the story of Joey's collection and the creation of the museum. Young readers will have fun with the illustrations and will want to find all of the objects that Joey collected on each page. Fleming includes an Author's Note at the end of the book with facts and real photos from the life of artist Joseph Cornell.

The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell is recommended for ages 4-8 and has an ISBN of 978-0-399-55238-0.

Large and detailed Illustrations Help to Tell the Story

Joey's collection of intriguing objects
Joey's collection of intriguing objects | Source
An old safe was collected because Joey was inspired by seeing Harry Houdini
An old safe was collected because Joey was inspired by seeing Harry Houdini | Source
Joey organized his collection to create a museum
Joey organized his collection to create a museum | Source
Joey's family enjoyed his museum
Joey's family enjoyed his museum | Source

An Imaginative Book and Story to Introduce Children to the World of Art

Parents and art teachers will find The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell to be a useful tool to introduce children to the world of art. Children can be inspired by the idea of collecting objects of interest that they find in their everyday activities and using the objects to create something beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

*Read The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell in a story time session.

*Call attention to all of the objects that Joey collects. Take a class poll of the children who have a collection of things at home. What do they collect?

*Use the illustrations of Joey's collectibles to sort into categories. What things fit together with similarities. Joey organized his collection into categories to create his museum.

*Take a class poll of how many children have been to an art museum or any other kind of museum. What kinds of things did they see?

*Encourage children to bring in an object from a collection that they might have to share with the class.

*Parents can take the opportunity to take a trip to a museum in their town or while on a family trip. Teachers will want to organize a field trip to a museum after reading this charming read aloud.

The World of Art and Children

What opportunities do you have to introduce your children to the world of art?

See results

© 2018 Cindy Hewitt


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