The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell

Based on the childhood of a Great American Artist

by Candace Fleming

illustrated by Gerard Dubois


I love going to the art gallery and checking out new artist and favorite artist. In all my years I’ve never heard of this amazing unique artist. Joey Cornell started his art life at a young age he just wasn’t sure what or where it was going to take him. At first it was just collecting things that he thought was pretty. His mom and dad while they thought his ever-growing collection was a bit weird. They also that it was wonderful and were always on the look out for things he could add and would bring home things when they found that certain something. His father gets sick and sadly doesn’t make it. His family is sad and he retreats to his art shed. There he gets inspiration to create collection boxes. He creates his very own. His collection is pretty and full of memories for the family.

This picture book will introduce the reader and listener to a new artist and way of art. So many times we think of paint, colored pencil, clay and more as art. Joey Cornell was a different kind of artist. I looked up his art after reading this book since he was new to me. I loved his shadow boxes and art form. A really fun activity to go with the book would be to go around and collect some fun and interesting items, a box ( it could be a recycled box or paper mache box from craft stores) and create their own Joey Cornell inspired art.

About the book: A stunning picture-book based on the childhood of artist and sculptor Joseph Cornell, sure to beguile aspiring artists and collectors of all ages. 

Joey Cornell collected everything — anything that sparked his imagination or delighted his eye. His collection grew and grew until he realized that certain pieces just looked right together. He assembled his doodads to create wonderful, magical creations out of once ordinary objects.

Thank you Schwartz and Wade for sending me The Amazing Collection of Joseph Cornell. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.


Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig

by Deborah Hopkinson

illustrated by Charlotte Voake


Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig by Deborah Hopkinson illustrated by Charlotte Voake


I have always had a fondness for Beatrix Potter books. They are such pretty little books the illustrations while colorful are done in watercolor so they are soothing as well. The stories are cute and classics that never get old. I think after reading Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig I love her books even more. She loved pets and had many growing up, we do to in this house. We have 2 dogs, a bunny, 2 turtles and a frog, plus we feed 2 stray cats. Personally Cuddles is my favorite, he is such a sweet little bunny. However Beatrix didn’t have the best luck when it came to keeping her pets, or borrowed pets alive. She might not be the one people called to for petting sitting back then.

I loved that this story is based on what happened when Beatrix Potter borrowed Queen Elizabeth the guinea pig and the painting that eventually sold for thousands of pounds. This is a historical fiction book and the illustrations remind me of those that would be found in one of Potter’s books. The best part of fans of the books and author is the last few pages that include actual photos and bio of the lovely and talented Beatrix Potter. This is a must have for any picture book collector, reader, whether it is a teacher, parent or librarian. This would also be a lovely gift to include in a Beatrix Potter gift basket for a new mom.

summary: Published in time for the 150th anniversary of her birth, this story stars a young Beatrix Potter, creator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and many other classic children’s books.

Master of the historical fiction picture book, Hopkinson takes readers back to Victorian England and the home of budding young artist and animal lover Beatrix Potter. When Beatrix brings home her neighbor’s pet guinea pig so that she can practice painting it, well . . . it dies! Now what?

thank you so much Random House Children’s Books, Schwartz and Wade, Deborah Hopkinson and Charlotte Voake for allowing me to read and review Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of the Borrowed Guinea Pig. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.