Best Children's Books About Art

88+ Children's Books About Art

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
The Art of Miss Chew book
#1
The Art of Miss Chew
Written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Pinwheel book
#2
Pinwheel
Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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!

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear book
#3
Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written and illustrated by Monica Carnesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Beatrice & Bear meet one spring day and become best buddies. They play together through summer and fall. Then winter comes and Beatrice can't find Bear anywhere. She hears he's gone to hibernate -- but where on earth is that? When Beatrice learns that hibernation is not a place and that Bear will be sleeping all winter long, she fears it will be a lonely season...unless she can come up with a brilliant plan. This delightful story of an irrepressible bunny will engage readers on many levels as it celebrates creativity, making the best of circumstances, and the joy of the changing seasons.

Ish book
#4
Ish
Written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

The Dot book
#5
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.

Claudia & Moth book
#6
Claudia & Moth
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

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.

The Magical Life of Mr. Renny book
#7
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.

Harold and the Purple Crayon book
#8
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.

Color Blocked book
#9
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.

Counting with Frida / Contando con Frida (Lil' Libros: English - Spanish) book
#10
Counting with Frida / Contando con Frida (Lil' Libros: English - Spanish)
Written by Ariana Stein, 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).

Melia and Jo book
#11
Melia and Jo
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Oxley, Billy Aronson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Melia is scientific and loves to create things in her backyard laboratory, but something is missing. Her inventions just aren’t quite right. Enter Jo, her new friend with an artistic spirit. When you add the arts to sciences, something magical happens! This whimsically illustrated picture book is the perfect introduction to the benefits of STEAM-focused curriculum.

Mini Myths: Make a Wish, Midas! book
#12
Mini Myths: Make a Wish, Midas!
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Midas wants everything to be his favorite color—yellow! He chooses yellow clothes, eats yellow foods, and uses only the yellow paint at his easel. But when he impulsively paints his beloved green Dinoboo, Midas discovers that too much of a good thing is a big mess! Joan Holub’s carefully crafted text is brought to life by Leslie Patricelli’s famously humorous illustrations. Includes a summary of the original Midas’s Wish myth at the end.

The Cloud book
#13
The Cloud
Written and illustrated by Hannah Cumming
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone has fun in art class except for one little girl who doesn't draw anything until a classmate figures out a way to make her smile.

Crocodali book
#14
Crocodali
Written and illustrated by Lucy Volpin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Help Crocodali, the most talented painter in the whole wide world, create a masterpiece by tilting, shaking, rubbing, and blowing on the book. I am Crocodali, the most talented painter in the whole wide world. And you are in my studio! In this interactive picture book, children can follow Crocodali the painter's instructions to help him create a masterpiece that will spark children's curiosity! Crocodali tells readers to tilt the book to straighten the canvas, shake the book to spread the paint, blow on the book (but not too hard!) to help the painting dry, and much more. As they help Crocodali paint his masterpiece, children will be able to express their creative sides and learn to appreciate art.

Art Barn (Noah's Park) book
#15
Art Barn (Noah's Park)
Written and illustrated by Sam Williams
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Welcome to Noah’s Park! From celebrated author and illustrator Sam Williams comes a brand-new board book series for preschoolers about a group of cute, cuddly critters who meet each day for a new adventure. In this first book, it’s time to paint at the Art Barn! A sweet board book series with irresistible art, this book is perfect for preschoolers looking to see their own first experiences mirrored with these new friends.

Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing book
#16
Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing
Written by Kay Haring and illustrated by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

The Marvelous Toy book
#17
The Marvelous Toy
Written by Tom Paxton and illustrated by Steve Cox
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

For nearly half a century, “The Marvelous Toy” has enchanted children and adults alike. A simple tale about a mysterious, magical, and mystical toy that a father gives to his son—and that eventually gets passed down to the next generation—it celebrates a child’s sense of wonder. Featuring incredible and wildly imaginative art by Steve Cox, the story is now as amazing to look at as it always has been to listen to. Parents, grandparents, and friends will remember this classic from their own youth—and joyfully share it with their own children. And just like the boy whose “eyes nearly popped right out of his head,” young readers will give “squeals of glee” at the magic of the artwork and this one-of-kind tale.

Rabbityness book
#18
Rabbityness
Written and illustrated by Jo Empson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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

Faces for Baby book
#19
Faces for Baby
Written and illustrated by Yana Peel
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Presents simple works of art featuring the human face from prominent contemporary artists, intended to visually stimulate babies and very young children.

Henry's Stars book
#20
Henry's Stars
Written and illustrated by David Elliott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The stars take shape in this adorable companion to Henry’s Map! One beautiful evening on the farm, Henry stares up at the sky. As he looks from star to star, they seem to form a picture. He sees it! A great big starry pig! Henry can’t wait to show his friends. Yet instead of seeing the Great Pig’s ears, legs, and curly tail, the sheep see a woolly body . . . the Great Sheep! Abigail sees the Great Star Cow, of course, and the chickens spot Heavenly Hens flying all over the place. Henry is frustrated. Why don’t the others see what he sees? In this charming companion to Henry’s Map, David Elliot explores—with gentle humor—the nature of art and perception. A perfect book for kids and adults who love to find shapes among the stars or anywhere else their imaginations may lead.

Clive and His Art book
#21
Clive and His Art
Written and illustrated by Jessica Spanyol
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

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.

Keith Haring book
#22
Keith Haring
Written and illustrated by Kay Haring
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard book
#23
I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard
Written and illustrated by Jennifer K Mann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too book
#24
Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Drawing. Reading. Building. Painting. These are things Nelly loves to do…but they’re always better with Daddy Gnu! With fun-to-read rhyme, a little silliness, and a lot of warmth, Anna Dewdney—the creator of the beloved llama llama books—tells the story of a daughter and her daddy and their wonderful day together.

Day the Crayons Came Home book
#25
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].

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.