9 Art Books for Children

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Recently I did a little research for an Instagram feature and in the process I came across a lot of beautiful picture books all related to art. Everything from artist biographies, to alphabet books, to imaginative stories championing creativity in many formats. Most of the books I immediately wanted to add to our personal collection! Which, for me, is the mark of a good book. Next time you are stumped for something to read may I suggest grabbing a stack of children's books related to a single topic. Guaranteed you'll be amazed to discover something new.
  1. Get Into Art: Animals (People, Places and Telling Stories) - I imagine many art teachers use these books in the classroom, as they feature renowned works of art from various genres and artists (Degas, Warhol, Seurat, Matisse, etc). Plus the corresponding fold-out activities are a terrific way to get kids excited about making their own creations.
  2. Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter - Growing up we had a red book of nursery rhymes and in that book I remember this image most vividly. Which means Mary Cassatt's work was imprinted on my brain at a young age. Plus I love that this book is about a woman artist. 
  3. Let's Paint - With a firm but playful beginning There are no mistakes in painting, this book is a celebration of ideas, that with care and execution can become art. This is an especially good reminder that there are no right or wrong ways to create. 
  4. A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet - This is unlike any alphabet book I've ever encountered. One artist constructs art instillations of various materials (tires, metal, collage, paint) and then describes them with alliterative accuracy. Kids will also appreciate some of the hide-n-seek aspects within the text and art. 
  5. The Museum - Creating art is only part of the process, experiencing it on an emotional level is another part. Which makes the young girl in this story such a charming character. Follow along her antics as she is literally moved by the art she sees at the museum one morning. 
  6. Art - Meet Art, an imaginative young boy, who coincidently likes to make art. The familiar cartoon illustrations will draw in readers of all ages, while the plastered fridge and appreciative mother make this a sweet story.
  7. Andrew Drew and Drew - A little reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Andrew believes that making a drawing is a bit like magic— what he needs always appears at the right moment. With fold-out flaps this book is especially fun for kids that like to doodle.
  8. Beautiful Oops! - This is a terrific book about how mistakes are really opportunities for creativity. Finding shapes in spills and animals in bent corners is all part of the process. This is a must-read for any mini perfectionist. 
  9. Matisse's Garden - If you've ever seen a Matisse canvas you know how color and form play prominent in his art; where every piece seems to dance with movement and light. This book is a beautiful depiction of how Matisse created collage, inspired by nature. 
Ps. These art board books are also great for little fingers. See more children's book recommendations here

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