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Joseph Cornell: Secrets in a Box (Adventures in Art) Hardcover – September 30, 2003
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Gr. 3-6. Baverstock's entry in the Prestel Adventures in Art series introduces Joseph Cornell and his unusual collage boxes, which feature a variety of objects and pictures. The author examines several pieces of Cornell's art in some detail before showing how kids can make their own Cornell boxes. It's unfortunate that the biographical information comes on the final spread of the book, because passing references to Cornell's personal life (he was, for instance, extraordinarily shy) are made earlier in the text with little context. But the artwork, which has lots of kid appeal, is exquisitely reproduced, and the text does a fine job of talking about the work in understandable terms without ignoring complicated questions of meaning ("Question upon question . . . but there are no answers!"). Rather than providing didactic explanations, the book encourages kids to think about what most intrigues them and, in doing so, helps them comprehend the motivation, if perhaps not the meaning, behind Cornell's meticulous, beautiful work. John Green
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