Art: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about art?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to art. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about art.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about art, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Nutcracker to popular sellers like From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler to some of our favorite hidden gems like Harold and the Purple Crayon.

We hope this list of kids books about art can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Art

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#1
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection—he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler book
#2
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

In this winner of the Newbery Medal from E.L. Konigsburg, when suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere—to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant.

Coco Chanel book
#3
Coco Chanel
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Ana Albero
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I think this darling board book is a great introduction to Coco Chanel. I love that it talks about her being herself and living her dreams. It also does a good job of telling the story of her journey to becoming a fashion designer.

Meet Coco Chanel, the world famous fashion designer! Now available as a board book in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of the iconic first lady of fashion, from her early life in an orphanage – where she is a genius with needle and thread – to her time as a cabaret singer, hat maker and, eventually, international fashion designer. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

If Picasso Painted a Snowman book
#4
If Picasso Painted a Snowman
Written by Amy Newbold and illustrated by Greg Newbold
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-11
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This was a great introduction to a host of very famous painters in an approachable and entirely enjoyable way, demonstrating what a snowman might look like in each of their signature styles!

Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Such a fun book showing how all artists have different styles. It walks through famous painters and what their snowmen might look like. I love this introduction to famous artists and their styles! It’s also super fun that there’s a blank canvas at the end for you to copy and create your own snowman with your own style.

-If someone asked you to paint a snowman, you would probably start with three white circles stacked one upon another. Then you would add black dots for eyes, an orange triangle for a nose, and a black dotted smile. But if Picasso painted a snowman….-

Willow book
#5
Willow
Written by Rosemarie Brennan and Denise Brennan-Nelson and illustrated by Cyd Moore
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book is a reminder that sometimes it’s not the teachers who always have a profound impact on the students… sometimes it’s the other way around. Willow’s positivity, kindness and resilience despite continuous criticism from her art teacher allow her to break down barriers and touch her teacher’s heart, changing her for the better. The illustrations are bright and just the right amount messy… just like Willow herself.

Miss Hawthorn’s room is neat and tidy, not a pencil or paintbrush is out of place. And that’s how she likes it. And she likes trees that are colored green and apples that are painted red. Miss Hawthorn does not like things to be different or out of the ordinary. Into Miss Hawthorn’s classroom comes young Willow. She doesn’t color inside the lines, she breaks crayons, and she sees pink trees and blue apples. What will Miss Hawthorn think? Magical things can happen when your imagination is allowed to run wild, and for Miss Hawthorn the notion of what is art and what is possible is forever changed.Willow is the first joint writing effort for sisters Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan. Denise’s other Sleeping Bear Press books include Someday Is Not a Day of the Week and My Grandma Likes to Say. She lives in Howell, Michigan. Rosemarie Brennan juggles careers as a writing teacher and an author. She lives in Brighton, Michigan. Cyd Moore studied graphic design and fine arts at the University of Georgia. Her work includes posters, billboards, books, newspaper and magazine articles, and cassette and CD covers. She is the illustrator of I Love You, Stinky Face and I Miss You, Stinky Face. She lives in Commerce, Michigan.

The Night Gardener book
#6
The Night Gardener
Written and illustrated by Eric Fan and Terry Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone on Grimloch Lane enjoys the trees and shrubs clipped into animal masterpieces after dark by the Night Gardener, but William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and helps with his special work.

A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans book
#7
A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans
Written by Joanne Ryder and Laurence Yep and illustrated by Mary GrandPré
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This humorous story of a dragon and her “pet” human takes you on an adventure with plenty of mayhem, as Winnie’s sketchbook brings her drawings to life! It takes teamwork to fix the chaos Winnie accidentally created, but this story of adventure is so fun with all the humor weaved inside! You’ll laugh with and love these characters.

Fans of How to Train Your Dragon will love this whimsical tale, the first in a series, by a Newbery Honor winner, featuring charming illustrations and pet “training tips” in each chapter.

Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion!

Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late. This refreshing debut collaboration by Laurence Yep, a two-time Newbery Honor winner and a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner, and Joanne Ryder features illustrations by Mary GrandPré.     

Praise for A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans *“Warm humor, magical mishaps, and the main characters’ budding mutual respect and affection combine to give this opener for a planned series a special shine.” –Booklist, Starred

“Aternately comical, suspenseful and sometimes sweetly emotional.” –Kirkus Reviews

“With a black-and-white spot illustration opening most chapters, an engaging narrator, and a consistently fluid writing style, this title makes a fine dragon choice for readers.” –School Library Journal

“In this series launch, Yep and Ryder conjure up a world where dragons and humans interact, and the results are heartwarming and quite funny.” –Publishers Weekly

“A clever and amusing novel that imagines a magical world that nestles right up against our own and sometimes crosses over.” –The Bulleting of the Center for Children’s Books   Praise for A Dragon’s Guide to Making Your Human Smarter “Yep and Ryder keep the magic coming with their whimsical fantasy, enhanced by Grandpré’s sweet drawings. The story positively vibrates with fun.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Lighthearted episodes of unusual school lessons and field trips, illustrated by GrandPré’s winsome spot art, are grounded by Miss Drake’s more serious encounters with the goons…a gratifying development as this buoyant, fantastical series continues.”—The Horn Book Review

The Art Lesson book
#8
The Art Lesson
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Having learned to be creative in drawing pictures at home, young Tommy is dismayed when he goes to school and finds the art lesson there much more regimented.

A Poem for Peter book
#9
A Poem for Peter
Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day.

The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and despite Keats’s obvious talent, his father worried that Ezra’s dream of being an artist was an unrealistic one. But Ezra was determined. By high school he was winning prizes and scholarships. Later, jobs followed with the WPA and Marvel comics. But it was many years before Keats’s greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book.

For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats’s hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his — and Keats’s — neighborhood.

Andrea Davis Pinkney’s lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers.

Foodie Babies Wear Bibs book
#10
Foodie Babies Wear Bibs
Written by Michelle Sinclair Colman and illustrated by Nathalie Dion
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from Grammy

This is a darling book about the realities of feeding and eating with babies, from preparation to sharing, with an especially tasty ending!

The sixth book of the Urban Babies board book series finds Foodie Babies browsing the farmers’ market and dining with their favorite finger foods.

Books About Art and Artists

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#1
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection—he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler book
#2
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

In this winner of the Newbery Medal from E.L. Konigsburg, when suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere—to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant.

Coco Chanel book
#3
Coco Chanel
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Ana Albero
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I think this darling board book is a great introduction to Coco Chanel. I love that it talks about her being herself and living her dreams. It also does a good job of telling the story of her journey to becoming a fashion designer.

Meet Coco Chanel, the world famous fashion designer! Now available as a board book in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of the iconic first lady of fashion, from her early life in an orphanage – where she is a genius with needle and thread – to her time as a cabaret singer, hat maker and, eventually, international fashion designer. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Honorable Mentions
  1. If Picasso Painted a Snowman - The Book Snob Mom - This was a great introduction to a host of very famous painters in an approachable and entirely enjoyable way, demonstrating what a snowman might look like in each of their signature styles!

  2. Willow - The Book Snob Mom - This book is a reminder that sometimes it’s not the teachers who always have a profound impact on the students… sometimes it’s the other way around. Willow’s positivity, kindness and resilience despite continuous criticism from her art teacher allow her to break down barriers and touch her teacher’s heart, changing her for the better. The illustrations are bright and just the right amount messy… just like Willow herself.

  3. The Night Gardener - Everyone on Grimloch Lane enjoys the trees and shrubs clipped into animal masterpieces after dark by the Night Gardener, but William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and helps with his special work.

  4. A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans - B is for Bookworm - This humorous story of a dragon and her “pet” human takes you on an adventure with plenty of mayhem, as Winnie’s sketchbook brings her drawings to life! It takes teamwork to fix the chaos Winnie accidentally created, but this story of adventure is so fun with all the humor weaved inside! You’ll laugh with and love these characters.

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Books About Art and Ballet

Nutcracker book
#1
Nutcracker
Written by E.T.A. Hoffmann and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“A classic, new and complete. One of the ten best illustrated children’s books of the year.” — New York Times Book Review The tale of Nutcracker, written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816, has fascinated and inspired artists, composers, and audiences for almost two hundred years. It has retained its freshness because it appeals to the sense of wonder we all share.

Maurice Sendak designed brilliant sets and costumes for the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Christmas production of Nutcracker and created even more magnificent pictures especially for this book. He joined with the eminent translator Ralph Manheim to produce this illustrated edition of Hoffmann’s wonderful tale, destined to become a classic for all ages.

The world of Nutcracker is a world of pleasures. Maurice Sendak’s art illuminates the delights of Hoffmann’s story in this rich and tantalizing treasure.

The Sleeping Beauty book
#2
The Sleeping Beauty
Written by New York City Ballet and illustrated by Valeria Docampo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this stunning follow-up to the bestselling holiday classic The Nutcracker, The New York City Ballet presents another timeless tale for a modern ballet lover with The Sleeping Beauty. The New York City Ballet presents classic stories of the ballet with their trademark stylish, modern sensibility. This lavishly illustrated book follows the storyline, choreography, costumes, and sets of the New York City Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty. With beautiful art illustrated by Valeria Docampo, this magnificent retelling is a perfect gift for an aspiring ballerina or any family who wants to add this enchanting fairy tale classic to their library.

I Dreamed I was a Ballerina book
#3
I Dreamed I was a Ballerina
Written by Anna Pavlova and illustrated by Edgar Degas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Every girl remembers her first trip to the ballet: the anticipation beforehand, the orchestra’s first notes, the ethereal beauty of the ballerinas. This is a tale of one such girl who was caught up in ballet’s mesmerizing spell and became one of the greatest ballerinas of all time.

In a story drawn from her memoirs, Anna Pavlova describes her first visit to the ballet to see the Sleeping Beauty. With simple, childlike language, she captures her love for her mother, the splendor of the ballet, and the moments that changed her life. The words are matched with paintings, pastels, and drawings of the French Impressionist Edgar Degas, to give this story all the magic of a fairytale.

Complete with short biographies of Pavlova and Degas, I Dreamed I Was a Ballerina will delight any child with ballerina dreams.

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Dance Like Starlight - Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don’t always come true—they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. And sometimes hope is hard to come by. But the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins, did make her dreams come true. And those dreams inspired ballerinas everywhere, showing them that the color of their skin couldn’t stop them from becoming a star. In a lyrical tale as beautiful as a dance en pointe, Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper tell the story of one little ballerina who was inspired by Janet Collins to make her own dreams come true.

  2. Firebird - In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl–an every girl–whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl’s faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird. Lyrical and affecting text paired with bold, striking illustrations that are some of Caldecott Honoree Christopher Myers’s best work, makes Firebird perfect for aspiring ballerinas everywhere.

  3. First Stories: Nutcracker - Push, pull, and slide into the holiday magic of The Nutcracker! Bring the classic Nutcracker story to life by pulling the tabs, spinning the wheels, and sliding the characters in First Stories: The Nutcracker. Join Clara and the Nutcracker as they go on a magical journey in this beloved tale based on the beautiful ballet. With movements on every page, youngsters will love this engaging introduction to the holiday classic.

  4. The Sound Orchestra: The Nutcracker - Follow Clara on a magical Christmas adventure in this retelling of the classic ballet story. Watch the Nutcracker battle the Mouse King, meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and journey to the Land of Sweets, where wonder and excitement await… Including music from: ‘The Dance of the Reed Flutes’, ‘The Waltz of Flowers’ and ‘The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’.

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Books About Art and Being Yourself

The Dot book
#1
The Dot
Written and illustrated by Peter H Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher’s encouragement leads her to change her mind.

The Day the Crayons Quit book
#2
The Day the Crayons Quit
Written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun.

What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?

Day the Crayons Came Home book
#3
Day the Crayons Came Home
Written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

I’m not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but his crayons sure are a colorful bunch of characters! Having soothed the hurt feelings of one group who threatened to quit, Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. From Maroon Crayon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him; to poor Turquoise, whose head is now stuck to one of Duncan’s stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together; to Pea Green, who knows darn well that no kid likes peas and who ran away—each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box.

Look for a special glow-in-the-dark picture [Note: make sure to “charge” it under a light first].

Honorable Mentions
  1. Clive and His Art - Meet Clive - and his imagination! Clive loves all kinds of art. He likes looking at it, making it and sharing it with his friends. A gentle, affectionate book, celebrating diversity and challenging gender stereotypes.

  2. Anya’s Secret Society - In Russia, right-handedness is demanded—it is the right way. This cultural expectation stifles young Anya’s creativity and artistic spirit as she draws the world around her in secret. Hiding away from family, teachers, and neighbors, Anya imagines a secret society of famous left-handed artists drawing alongside her. But once her family emigrates from Russia to America, her life becomes less clandestine, and she no longer feels she needs to conceal a piece of her identity.

  3. The Art Collector - Oscar’s Great-Granny showed him how to draw. Oscar was not good at drawing. But he loved art, so he kept the drawing of a red chicken that Great-Granny gave to him and he loved to look at it. He bought another drawing at a flea market, and he loved looking at that one, too. As he grew up, Oscar collected more drawings and paintings, filling his bedroom with color and shapes and scenes. Oscar collected and collected until a museum had to be built to hold all of his drawings and paintings. Not everyone can become an artist, but as Oscar learned, everyone can love looking at art. Oscar’s passion for the stories in paintings and the thoughts they provoke will inspire young readers to see art in a new way—even if they don’t enjoy making it themselves.

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Books About Art and Adventure

Harold and the Purple Crayon book
#1
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Written and illustrated by Crockett Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Essential Picture Book Classics—timeless stories for every child to treasure. “One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight.” Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement. Full of funny twists and surprises, this joyful story shows just how far your imagination can take you. Harold and the Purple Crayon has delighted readers of all ages for over fifty years.

The Magical Ice Palace book
#2
The Magical Ice Palace
Written by Lindsay Taylor and Suzanne Smith and illustrated by Marnie Maurri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-99

Doodle Girl uses her magic pencil to create adventures by transforming doodles into fantastical lands, full of amazing animals! On their latest outing, Doodle Girl and her friends find a curly, curvy shape. What is it supposed to be? While trying to work it out, they find a sad, lonely mammoth high up on a mountain. What’s he doing there? Will Doodle Girl be able to help him? And what is the curly curvy shape going to be? Find out in this gorgeous picture book that inspires creativity and fun—and includes a giant, free doodling poster and stickers.

Flora's Tree House book
#3
Flora's Tree House
Written and illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Flora entertains herself by drawing and painting. Will leaps from trees and swings branches like they’re swords. The two siblings have always played separately, until Will is curious about what exactly Flora is putting in her sketchbook. Flora reveals that she has been drawing—and enhancing—all of Will’s imaginary adventures, and making up some of her own. In one joyful afternoon, brother and sister discover that playing together is always more fun.

This irresistible and thoughtful story about siblings has expressive, vibrant art as stunning as the adventures the children go on. It is perfect for fans of Jonathan D. Voss’s Brave Enough for Two and Ocean Meets Sky by the Fan Brothers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Imagine! - After passing a city museum many times, a boy finally decides to go in. He passes wall after wall of artwork until he sees a painting that makes him stop and ponder. Before long the painting comes to life and an afternoon of adventure and discovery unfolds, changing how he sees the world ever after.

  2. Wild Things - Stubborn, self-reliant eleven-year-old Zoe, recently orphaned, is forced to move to the country to live with her strange and bad-tempered uncle. Zoe could care less that he’s a famous doctor and sculptor. All she knows is that he is impossible to understand. The only interesting thing on the farm is a feral cat who won’t let Zoe near. Together, Zoe and her uncle learn about trust and the strength of family ties. In this moving coming-of-age novel, Zoe comes to understand what it means to love and be loved, uncovers a long-kept secret, and finds family where she least expects it. Includes an interview with the author and a reading group guide. Named ALA Notable Children’s Book Award; Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s books of the Year; NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts; Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book.

  3. How to Knit a Monster - Greta the goat is a wonderfully accomplished knitter. She can even knit little goats and turn them loose to play around her feet. But when she gets distracted from her knitting, threatening creatures spring from her needles, each more menacing than the last. It takes quick thinking, courage, and brilliant knitting for Greta to find her way out of a perilous situation. In this whimsical story, creativity and craft empower our heroine to restore her safety . . . as long as she pays attention to what is growing on her knitting needles!

  4. The Splintered Light - Reminiscent of The Giver, this literary debut middle-grade fantasy is beautifully written and stunningly creative. “A deep dive into a world-within-a-world, a heart-within-a-heart.” —Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist “The joys of the senses and the glories of creation shine in this radiant debut.” —Julie Berry, Printz Honor author of The Passion of Dolssa “Ginger Johnson’s debut is as vibrant as the colors her characters wield in this novel about creativity, collaboration, and creation.” —Megan Frazer Blakemore, author of The Water Castle and The Firefly Code Ever since his brother Luc’s disappearance and his father’s tragic death, Ishmael has lived a monotonous existence helping his mother on their meager farm where everything is colorless. Until one morning a ray of light fragments Ishmael’s gray world into something extraordinary: a spectrum of color he never knew existed. Emboldened, Ishmael sets out to find answers hoping his long lost brother might hold the key. He finds Luc in the Hall of Hue, one of the seven creative workshops at The Commons, the seat of all new creation. Luc is completing the final days of his training as a Color Keeper, adding the finishing touches of color to a brand new world designed and built by a team of young artisans. Although his heart calls him to a future as a Color Keeper, Ishmael feels too guilty to leave the duties of his old life behind. But when a catastrophe destroys nearly all of the color and light at the Hall of Hue, Ishmael and Luc are suddenly at severe odds. Torn between his family and his destiny, Ishmael must learn when to let go of the past, when to trust the path ahead, and when to believe in himself.

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Books About Art and Imagination

The Magical Life of Mr. Renny book
#1
The Magical Life of Mr. Renny
Written and illustrated by Leo Timmers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When he is unable to sell his paintings and has no money for food, Mr. Renny meets a man who is able to make his paintings come to life.

Sam & Eva book
#2
Sam & Eva
Written and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Harold and the Purple Crayon meets Tom and Jerry in this sweet and funny picture book about a boy and girl who must balance their creativity and figure out how to cooperate after their drawings come to life.

When Sam starts drawing a super cool velociraptor, Eva decides to join in. But Sam isn’t too happy about the collaboration. Soon Eva and Sam are locked in an epic creative clash, bringing to life everything from superhero marmots to exploding confetti. But when their masterpieces turn to mayhem will Sam stay stubbornly solo or will he realize that sometimes the best work comes from teamwork?

Draw! book
#3
Draw!
Written and illustrated by Raul Colon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Based on his own childhood, beloved and award-winning artist Raúl Colón’s wordless book is about the limitless nature of creativity and imagination.

A boy alone in his room. Pencils. Sketchbook in hand. What would it be like to go on safari? Imagine. Draw…

A boy named Leonardo begins to imagine and then to draw a world afar—first a rhinoceros, and then he meets some monkeys, and he always has a friendly elephant at his side. Soon he finds himself in the jungle and carried away by the sheer power of his imagination, seeing the world through his own eyes and making friends along the way.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Have an Idea! - From one of the true creative geniuses of this generation comes a unique meditation on and celebration of the magic of the birth of a simple idea. Sparkling with visual wit and bubbling with imagination, this is a richly emotional exploration of the creative process: from an initial tentative inkling, to the frustration of chasing the wrong notion, to finally the exhilaration of capturing—and nurturing—just the right idea. I Have an Idea! is a scrumptious cloth-spined package of color and inspiration equally at home on a child’s bookshelf, in a new graduate’s backpack, or atop a creative’s desk.

  2. Just Add Glitter - Is there really such a thing as too much bling? Find out in this sparkly homage to imagination and creativity gone wild that’s perfect for even the youngest fashion and crafting enthusiasts! Has the rainy day got you down? Not feeling fancy in your gown? Just add glitter! It all starts with a mysterious mail delivery, a little girl with a big imagination, and a sprinkling of twinkling glitter. Before long there’s glitter here, glitter there—glitter, glitter EVERYWHERE! But just when she’s about to add more glitter, the little girl realizes maybe there is such a thing as too much bling when you and your best pal start to get lost in it… From beloved author Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrator Samantha Cotterill comes a silly and sweet story that celebrates imagination, creativity, and knowing when enough is enough—or is it?!

  3. With My Hands: Poems About Making Things - Building, baking, folding, drawing, shaping . . . making something with your own hands is a special, personal experience. Taking an idea from your imagination and turning it into something real is satisfying and makes the maker proud. With My Hands is an inspiring invitation to tap into creativity and enjoy the hands-on energy that comes from making things.

  4. Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing - Iconic pop artist Keith Haring comes to life for young readers in this picture book biography lovingly written by his sister This one-of-a-kind book explores the life and art of Keith Haring from his childhood through his meteoric rise to fame. It sheds light on this important artist’s great humanity, his concern for children, and his disregard for the establishment art world. Reproductions of Keith’s signature artwork appear in scenes boldly rendered by Robert Neubecker. This is a story to inspire, and a book for Keith Haring fans of all ages to treasure.

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Books About Art and Female Role Models

Cloth Lullaby book
#1
Cloth Lullaby
Written by Amy Novesky and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) was a world-renowned modern artist noted for her sculptures made of wood, steel, stone, and cast rubber. Her most famous spider sculpture, Maman, stands more than 30 feet high. Just as spiders spin and repair their webs, Louise’s own mother was a weaver of tapestries. Louise spent her childhood in France as an apprentice to her mother before she became a tapestry artist herself. She worked with fabric throughout her career, and this biographical picture book shows how Bourgeois’s childhood experiences weaving with her loving, nurturing mother provided the inspiration for her most famous works. With a beautifully nuanced and poetic story, this book stunningly captures the relationship between mother and daughter and illuminates how memories are woven into us all.

Parker Looks Up book
#2
Parker Looks Up
Written by Jessica Curry and Parker Curry and illustrated by Brittany Jackson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen—one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl’s imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica Curry, tell the story of a young girl and her family, whose trip to a museum becomes an extraordinary moment, in a moving picture book. Parker Looks Up follows Parker, along with her baby sister and her mother, and her best friend Gia and Gia’s mother, as they walk the halls of a museum, seeing paintings of everyone and everything from George Washington Carver to Frida Kahlo, exotic flowers to graceful ballerinas. Then, Parker walks by Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama…and almost passes it. But she stops…and looks up! Parker saw the possibility and promise, the hopes and dreams of herself in this powerful painting of Michelle Obama. An everyday moment became an extraordinary one…that continues to resonate its power, inspiration, and indelible impact. Because, as Jessica Curry said, “anything is possible regardless of race, class, or gender.” FOREWORD BY ARTIST AMY SHERALD

Counting with Frida / Contando con Frida (Lil' Libros: English - Spanish) book
#3
Counting with Frida / Contando con Frida (Lil' Libros: English - Spanish)
Written by Ariana Stein and Patty Rodriguez and illustrated by Citlali Reyes
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A Lil’ Libros Bilingual Counting Book

Introduce your little one to the life of one of Mexico’s most iconic painters, Frida Kahlo, while teaching them their numbers, 1 to 10, in English and Spanish. Count una casa azul (one blue house), tres flores (three flowers), and cinco retratos (five portraits).

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Life Made by Hand - Ruth Asawa (1926-2013) was an influential and award-winning sculptor, a beloved figure in the Bay Area art world, and a devoted activist who advocated tirelessly for arts education. This lushly illustrated book by collage artist Andrea D’Aquino brings Asawa’s creative journey to life, detailing the influence of her childhood in a farming family, and her education at Black Mountain College where she pursued an experimental course of education with leading avant-garde artists and thinkers such as Anni and Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, and Robert Rauschenberg. Delightful and substantial, this engaging title for young art lovers includes a page of teaching tools for parents and educators.

  2. Anywhere Artist - Anyone can make art anywhere, anytime, with anything! Follow a young artist as she moves through a number of natural environments, creating gorgeous artworks along the way from natural materials. Stunning hand-crafted illustrations with handlettered text. An ideal springboard for your own creations!

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Books About Art and Friendship

When Pencil Met Eraser book
#1
When Pencil Met Eraser
Written by Luis O. Ramos, Jr. and Karen Kilpatrick and illustrated by German Blanco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Ever wonder why there’s a little pink eraser on every pencil? Find out in this funny, clever picture book that tells the true story of how Pencil and Eraser became the best of friends. When Pencil draws on the pages of this book, Eraser erases parts of Pencil’s work, and the book itself becomes a canvas for their different takes on creativity—until the two discover their artwork is even better when they work together. From Karen Kilpatrick, Luis O. Ramos, and illustrator Germán Blanco, When Pencil Met Eraser brings to life something kids use every day at school and at home. Engaging art, adorable characters, and a clever ending create a memorable message about friendship and creativity.

The Selfish Giant book
#2
The Selfish Giant
Written by Oscar Wilde and illustrated by Jeanne Bowman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A beloved tale that has lasted for generations, The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde, one of the world’s greatest writers, tells the tale of a very selfish giant, his wonderful garden, the curious and playful village children, and, of course, the little child who changes the giant’s heart. A beloved classic in English literature, The Selfish Giant may be Oscar Wilde’s greatest story of redemption and forgiveness.

Newly illustrated by renowned artist Jeanne Bowman, this fantastic edition of this famous tale showcases Wilde’s story in a pallet and composition that will delight and inspire both young and old and will become a family treasure to be read again and again.

Linus The Little Yellow Pencil book
#3
Linus The Little Yellow Pencil
Written and illustrated by Scott Magoon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Linus and his eraser, Ernie, don’t always see eye to eye. But with the family art show drawing near, these two will have to sharpen their collaboration to make something neither one could do on their own! This ode to art by the illustrator of Spoon and Chopsticks points out the power of sharing the creative process and sticking with it.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Outside In - “A compassionate story of homelessness and friendship, recycled art and community.” —Kirkus Reviews A twelve-year-old boy living on the streets of Chandigarh, India, stumbles across a secret garden full of sculptures and sees the possibility of another way of life as he bonds with the man who is creating the garden in this searingly beautiful novel—based on a true story. Twelve-year-old Ram is a street boy living behind a sign on a building’s rooftop, barely scraping by, winning games of gilli for money, occasionally given morsels of food through the kindness of Mr. Singh, a professor and father of his friend Daya. But his prowess at gilli (an outdoor game similar to cricket) is what gets him into big trouble. One day, when he wins against some schoolboys fair and square, the boys are infuriated. As they chase Ram across town, he flings his small sack of money over a factory gate where no one can get it, and disappears into the alleyways. But someone does get the money, Ram discovers when he sneaks back later on to rescue what is his—a strange-ish man on a bike who also seems to be collecting…rocks? Ram follows the man into the jungle, where he finds something unlike anything he’s seen—statues, hundreds of statues…no, thousands of them! Gods and goddesses and buildings, all at half scale. What is this place? It seems that the rock collecting man, Nek, has built them all! When Nek discovers that Ram has followed him, he has no choice but to let the boy stay and earn back the money Nek has already spent. How else can he keep him quiet? For his creations lie on land that isn’t technically his to build on. As Ram and Nek hesitantly become friends, Ram learns the true nature of this hidden village in the jungle, as well as the stories of Shiva and Lord Rama, stories of gods and goddesses that in strange ways seem to parallel Ram’s…and Nek’s. Based on the true story of one of India’s most beloved artists and modern day folk heroes, Nek Chand was a real man—a man displaced from his home in the midst of war and conflict; a man who missed his home so terribly he illegally reconstructed his entire village in miniature out of found objects and rock, recreating mosaic statues and sculptures spanning acres of jungle. Though Ram is a fictionalized character, Nek’s artwork is real. Intertwined with mythology and the sociopolitics of India, this is an exquisitely wrought, unexpected, and singular tale about the connection of community and how art can help make us human.

  2. The Un-Friendship Bracelet - In the first book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series, a new student gets between best friends Emily and Maddie—and changes the meaning of their friendship bracelets! Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. In the first Craftily Ever After book, best friends Emily and Maddie are so close that they spend most of their free time together, and wear matching friendship bracelets, too! One day, a new student named Bella Diaz shows up at Mason Creek Elementary. Maddie immediately befriends her, discovering that she too is really crafty. As Maddie and Bella spend more time together, Emily finds herself spending more time alone…until she realizes that the boy who’s been sitting next to her in class this whole time loves to draw and create just like she does. When Emily’s friendship bracelet falls off and Maddie doesn’t even notice, Emily begins to think that maybe it was an un-friendship bracelet after all. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  3. Sticker Girl - “Martina’s always struggled to carve out her place at school, but she finds tremendous excitement in a treasure all her own: a sticker collection that comes to life!”

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Books About Art and Animals

The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse book
#1
The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant picture book from Eric Carle will help let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There’s a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there’s imagination. Filled with some of the most magnificently colorful animals of Eric Carle’s career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art.

First Words: Early Learning at the Museum book
#2
First Words: Early Learning at the Museum
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by The Trustees of the British Museum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Stunning photographic board books featuring masterpieces from the British Museum Using amazing objects from the British Museum, this series of captivating board books encourages children to engage with early learning concepts. Inquisitive toddlers will enjoy learning first words and animals with gorgeous photographic images on every page. As beautiful as the objects inside them, these board books make wonderful gifts.

What's Up Penguin? book
#3
What's Up Penguin?
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

What are the animals up to? There are lots of clues to help us decide, and we can lift the flap to see if we’re right. A playful way to exercise reasoning, prediction and memory skills, featuring colourful, high-contrast illustrations.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Animosaics: Can You Find It? - This large-format board book from the creator of Wee Gallery is wonderfully colourful and packed with everyday objects for children to look at and learn from. Each page focuses on a different colour and contains a series of objects hidden within the large, mosaic-inspired pictures. Additional questions will encourage the reader to find and recognise different shapes as they turn each page of the book. A joy to look at and a delight to hold, Animosaics – Can you Find It? is a unique and beautifully produced book for children of all ages.

  2. Rabbityness - Tells the story of a rabbit whose love of music and art inspires other rabbits even after he disappears.

  3. Crafty Llama - Llama loves to make things. It doesn’t matter what, really—something special, something lovely. Beaver loves to make things, too. But he likes things to be useful. On this lovely day, Llama is inspired. She is having fun making things, like gifts for her friends. And soon many of her friends are inspired right along with her. But Beaver needs to think about what Llama and the other animals are making. What useful thing can he do with this day? With lots of craftiness and fun, this is a delightful story about how something lovely can be useful, too, and how the best gifts are the ones that bring us together.

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Books About Art and Colors

Color Blocked book
#1
Color Blocked
Written by Ashley Sorenson and illustrated by David Miles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The color is blocked! Readers must rub, turn, and tap the pages to straighten out pipes, unplug corks, and keep the color flowing. But watch out—the color might run faster than you can keep up! Along the way, readers will learn primary colors, how mixing colors can make secondary colors, and why you should never, ever, put a turtle in charge.

Color Train book
#2
Color Train
Written and illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

All aboard the Color Train! This adorable two-in-one board book featuring 18 world famous artists unfolds into a 56” train bursting with color and art.

The Crayons' Book of Colors book
#3
The Crayons' Book of Colors
Written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

The crayons are back and brighter than ever in this board book of colors from the creators of the #1 New York Times Best Sellers, The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home.

It’s Duncan’s birthday, and all the crayons want to make him a card! With their fun and quirky illustrations of firetrucks, dragons, and (dare we say?) wheat, these creative crayons each have something different to contribute. When they come together, they can make something truly spectacular to celebrate Duncan’s birthday!

From the creative minds behind the The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home, comes a fun board book introducing young readers to colors.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Vivid - Playful poems and facts celebrate the colors of the rainbow in this beautiful picture book. With information about the science of sight and perception, pigment origins in art and textiles, colloquial expressions and word associations, there’s so much to see in each vivid spread. Full color.

  2. Green Is a Chile Pepper - Green is a chile pepper, spicy and hot. Green is cilantro inside our pot. In this lively picture book, children discover a world of colors all around them: red is spices and swirling skirts, yellow is masa, tortillas, and sweet corn cake. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, this playful concept book will reinforce the colors found in every child’s day!

  3. What's Your Favorite Bug? - In this companion to “What’s Your Favorite Animal?” and “What’s Your Favorite Color?,” Carle and 14 other beloved children’s book artists illustrate their favorite bugs and explain why they love them. Full color.

  4. I See a Pattern Here - An introduction to the ubiquitous and aesthetic world of patterns reveals less-recognized examples while showcasing a diverse, colorful array of patterns from nature and art, and offering suggestions for how children can make patterns of their own.

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Books About Art and School

A Paintbrush for Paco book
#1
A Paintbrush for Paco
Written by Tracey Kyle and illustrated by Joshua Heinsz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet a little boy named Paco who loves to draw but can’t seem to concentrate during school in this picture book that’s sprinkled with Spanish words! Paco gazed out at the late-morning sun. He wondered why recess had not yet begun. He wanted to go to el campo and play, and act like a matador shouting “¡Olé!” Paco loves daydreaming and drawing, but he struggles to concentrate during class. When his profesor takes him to the art room, Paco is amazed by the colorful paints: pink, rosado; purple, morado; fiery orange, anaranjado; and more! Could art be just what Paco needs? Complete with an author’s note and glossary of Spanish words, this story is a great introduction to Spanish with a strong message about the power of art!

Yasmin the Builder book
#2
Yasmin the Builder
Written by Saadia Faruqi and illustrated by Hatem Aly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

As their makerspace project the students in Yasmin’s second grade class are building a city: there are houses, a school, a church, even a castle, but Yasmin is not sure what to build—until inspiration strikes.

Class Act book
#3
Class Act
Written by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Fans of Princess Posey and Ivy and Bean will enjoy rooting for Jada Jones as she runs for student council in this easy-to-read chapter book. As a candidate for class representative, Jada is ready to give the campaign her all. But when rumors start to fly about her secret fear of public speaking, she isn’t sure who she can trust. And the pressure to make promises she can’t keep only adds to her growing list of problems. Is winning even worth it when friendships are on the line? This easy-to-read story—with plenty of pictures and a charming, relatable cast of characters—is a sure winner. The early chapter book bridges between leveled readers and chapter books for fluent readers adjusting to the chapter book format. At about 5,000 words, with short chapters and two-color art on almost every page, it will appeal to this unique reader. The two-color art throughout will help readers transition from the familiar four-color art of leveled readers and ease them into black-and-white chapter books.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Making the Band - Maddie, Bella, Emily, and Sam create rock star–worthy instruments with found objects in this second book in the brand-new Craftily Ever After chapter book series! Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. In the second Craftily Ever After book, there’s a talent show at school and for the first time, Maddie, Bella, Emily, and Sam can’t think of anything to do. That is, until an old tin can and some plastic tubing give them a musical idea! With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  2. The Great Art Caper (Pets on the Loose!) - Pets on the Loose! returns with The Great Art Caper by bestselling children’s book author and illustrator Victoria Jamieson Things at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary School have been quiet―too quiet. Cuddly yet calculating class hamster GW spends his days in second grade and his nights poetry slamming and jigsaw puzzling with his friends, Sunflower and Barry. GW has even started warming up to the second-grade students. Could he be making human friends? When the school art show is announced, GW learns of a dastardly plot―Harriet and her many minions are planning to ruin it! Once again, it’s up to GW, Sunflower, and Barry to stop to Harriet’s mousey madness.

  3. Lucky Break - When Molly Mac loses her “lucky” pencil, she starts to panic. She needs her pencil to create a drawing for the school’s art show. Just when her luck is running out, things get even worse. Will Molly be able to enter the art contest? She needs good luck, and fast!

  4. I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard - Rose’s teacher gives stars for spelling and neatness and giving the right answer, but Rose can’t manage to do any of those things right. Will she ever get a star from Mrs. Benson? Rose is a distracted and creative soul. She does her best at school, but sometimes her mind wanders, and she answers the wrong question. Her reading voice is quiet, not strong and loud. And her desk?—?well, keeping her desk neat is a challenge. When it’s time to make thank-you cards for a class visitor, Rose’s art supplies turn her workspace?—and her?—?into a colorful mess. But her artistic skills shine through in the gorgeous oversize card she creates. Could she possibly get a star after all? A cheerful and empowering picture book for the child whose talents lie in unconventional areas, and those still searching for their strengths.

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Epilogue

12 books that are just too good to leave off of our art list.

  1. I Can Dance - The Book Snob Mom - While the cover might be classified as “girly” by some (don’t get me started on the boy books/girl books discussion!), the inside is packed with examples of all types of dance (disco, gymnastics, break-dancing, synchronized swimming, and tap dancing) being executed by both little boy and little girl dancers, so there’s plenty of gender diversity going on. The holes for sticking your fingers through to be the dancers legs on each page are fun, both at the baby stage where they try to grab your fingers and giggle as you wiggle them around and as munchkins get older and can do it themselves. The verdict—cute interactive book for getting some of the wiggles out!

  2. Henri's Scissors - An introduction to the life and paper-cutout art of Henri Matisse describes his early sketching hobby, famous paintings and the illness that confined him to a wheelchair and inspired his sophisticated paper-cutout masterworks.

  3. Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! - James Van Der Zee was just a young boy when he saved enough money to buy his first camera. He took photos of his family, classmates, and anyone who would sit still for a portrait. By the fifth grade, James was the school photographer and unofficial town photographer. Eventually he outgrew his small town and moved to the exciting, fast-paced world of New York City. After being told by his boss that no one would want his or her photo taken -by a black man, - James opened his own portrait studio in Harlem. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance—politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill -Bojangles- Robinson, and Mamie Smith—and ordinary folks in the neighborhood too. Everyone wanted fancy portraits by James Van Der Zee. Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! tells the story of a groundbreaking artist who chronicled an important era in Harlem and showed the beauty and pride of its people.

  4. Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum - This #1 New York Times bestseller is the perfect gift for the young artist in your life! A never-before-published Dr. Seuss non-fiction book about creating and looking at art! Based on an unrhymed manuscript and sketches discovered in 2013, this book is like a visit to a museum—with a horse as your guide! Explore how different artists have seen horses, and maybe even find a new way of looking at them yourself. Discover full-color photographic art reproductions of pieces by Picasso, George Stubbs, Rosa Bonheur, Alexander Calder, Jacob Lawrence, Deborah Butterfield, Franz Marc, Jackson Pollock, and many others—all of which feature a horse! Young readers will find themselves delightfully transported by the engaging equines as they learn about the creative process and how to see art in new ways. Taking inspiration from Dr. Seuss’s original sketches, acclaimed illustrator Andrew Joyner has created a look that is both subtly Seussian and wholly his own. His whimsical illustrations are combined throughout with “real-life” art. Cameo appearances by classic Dr. Seuss characters (among them the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, and Horton the Elephant) make Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum a playful picture book that is totally unique. Ideal for home or classroom use, it encourages critical thinking and makes a great gift for Seuss fans, artists, and horse lovers of all ages. Publisher’s Notes discuss the discovery of the manuscript and sketches, Dr. Seuss’s interest in understanding modern art, the process of creating the book, and information about each of the artists and art reproductions in the book.

  1. Pinwheel - Turn the wheel and watch each scene transform with spinning, eye-catching designs! Award-winning artist Salina Yoon’s spectacular display of kinetic art immerses readers in a colorful, poetic journey. From a balloon-filled sky to the deep blue sea, Pinwheel reminds readers of the beauty all around them. Let the fun begin with every spin!

  2. Ish - Ramon loved to draw. Anytime. Anything. Anywhere. Drawing is what Ramon does. It¹s what makes him happy. But in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon’s older brother, Leon, turns Ramon’s carefree sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily for Ramon, though, his little sister, Marisol, sees the world differently. She opens his eyes to something a lot more valuable than getting things just “right.” Combining the spareness of fable with the potency of parable, Peter Reynolds shines a bright beam of light on the need to kindle and tend our creative flames with care.

  3. My Big Book of the World's Greatest Art - From cave paintings to Banksy, this stylish, fun, and interactive book will teach kids about 10,000 years of art history. This children’s book is the perfect stepping stone to a lifelong appreciation of art. Each major art period unfolds in a gently colored spread featuring famous artists and artworks while other spreads present specific scenes that incorporate similar details. In this book, kids will learn how the earliest artists mixed pigments; how ancient civilizations worshiped their gods; how religion drove artistic efforts in the middle ages; and scientific discoveries inspired Renaissance painters and sculptors. They’ll observe artists playing key roles in revolutions both historic and cultural and they’ll visit a modern museum to see what today’s artists are creating. Packed with endless possibilities for learning, this book offers kids a new way to engage with and understand the art they experience every day.

  4. The Art of Miss Chew - After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She’s thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew’s special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she’s wasting time on art when she should be studying – but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for! This true story shows just how important a teacher can be in a child’s life – and celebrates the power of art itself.

  1. Claudia & Moth - A small girl with a passion for nature turns to her new passion for art as the seasons turn colder. Claudia loves butterflies. Blue ones. Yellow ones. Purple ones with dots. And since she can’t take them home, she paints them in all their beautiful colors. But when winter comes, there are no more butterflies to paint…until she finds a little moth. Suddenly, Claudia sees winter in a whole new light.

  2. Once Upon an Alphabet - The New York Times bestselling alphabet/story book from the artist of The Day the Crayons Quit is now available in an abridged edition for the littlest learners! The perfect introduction to both the alphabet and to the world of Oliver Jeffers! This clever and funny board book from the #1 bestselling illustrator of The Day the Crayons Quit and creator of Stuck gives center stage to Oliver Jeffers’ whimsical illustrations as it helps parents and toddlers connect through learning and art. A must-have. Praise for Once Upon an Alphabet: An Amazon Best Book of 2014! A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year! A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year! “The silly, spare, slightly surreal text occasionally rhymes and endlessly surprises. An utterly delightful alphabet book.”-Kirkus Review, starred review “With wry humor, equally droll ink illustrations, and a solid dose of alliteration, Jeffers creates delightful mini-narratives for each letter of the alphabet.”-Publishers Weekly, starred review “An altogether stimulating, surprising, and satisfying reading experience.”-School Library Journal, starred review “Whimsical, funny, occasionally tragic, and highly entertaining, this collection of (sometimes) interlocking tales is brilliantly inventive.”-Horn Book, starred review “Jeffers knows how to catch the attention of his young audience while challenging their imagination, intellect and vocabulary. This whimsical exploration of letters and language begs to be read over and over again.”-BookPage “Handsome, humorous and clad in bright tomato-red, [this] is the sort of book you may want to rush into the arms of imaginative, good-natured children between 4 and 10 years old. [T]his is no traditional abecedarian exercise.The stories are wonderfully varied, sometimes philosophical and often end surprisingly; the drawings are just as quirky and unpredictable.”-The Wall Street Journal “[W]itty from A to Z . . . no one would blame you for having a copy even if there are no kids in the house. Think of it as Edward Gorey for the preschool set — and their hip parents.”-The Washington Post

  3. Sky Color - The sky’s no limit as the author-illustrator of The Dot and Ish winds up his Creatrilogy with a whimsical tale about seeing the world a new way. Marisol loves to paint. So when her teacher asks her to help make a mural for the school library, she can’t wait to begin! But how can Marisol make a sky without blue paint? After gazing out the bus window and watching from her porch as day turns into night, she closes her eyes and starts to dream. . . . From the award-winning Peter H. Reynolds comes a gentle, playful reminder that if we keep our hearts open and look beyond the expected, creative inspiration will come.

  4. All Is Merry and Bright - A gorgeous keepsake book that shines with holiday cheer and foil on every spread, All Is Merry and Bright is full of illumination and hope—perfect for the youngest readers in your life

Did you enjoy our art book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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