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Art and Biography: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about art is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Frida Kahlo to The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about art? Let us know!

Frida Kahlo book
#1
Frida Kahlo
Written by Isabel Muñoz and illustrated by Jane Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo created vibrantly hued paintings . . . and led an equally colorful life. Known for her self-portraits, she became a feminist icon whose work now sells for millions. This lively biography looks at Frida's childhood; her devotion to Mexican culture and politics; the bus accident that left her in chronic pain but also sparked her career; and her marriage to Diego Rivera.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart book
#2
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Written by Isabel Muñoz and illustrated by Jane Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Meet composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and learn about his life and music in this engagingly illustrated biography. Wolfgang Amadeus rose to fame as a child genius who wrote his first piece at the age of five, spent a lifetime making music for archbishops and emperors, and created countless compositions until his untimely death at only 35 years old. This engaging biography explores his amazing career, from when Mozart began his musical studies under his father's tutelage; through his time as a court composer, musician, and concertmaster; to his final work in honor of the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia. Along the way, we find out about Mozart's travels and the great composers he met, his difficulties with his rich benefactors, his financial struggles, his marriage and family, and his final illness. Appealing illustrations, information on his breakthroughs and successes, and an index of major events reveal how Mozart left his mark on humanity. A timeline and simple quiz help kids test their understanding and knowledge.

Dancing Through Fields of Color book
#3
Dancing Through Fields of Color
Written by Elizabeth Brown and illustrated by Aimee Sicuro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

They said only men could paint powerful pictures, but Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) splashed her way through the modern art world. Channeling deep emotion, Helen poured paint onto her canvas and danced with the colors to make art unlike anything anyone had ever seen. She used unique tools like mops and squeegees to push the paint around, to dazzling effects. Frankenthaler became an originator of the influential "Color Field" style of abstract expressionist painting with her "soak stain" technique, and her artwork continues to electrify new generations of artists today. Dancing Through Fields of Color discusses Frankenthaler's early life, how she used colors to express emotion, and how she overcame the male-dominated art world of the 1950s.

Sandy's Circus book
#4
Sandy's Circus
Written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Alexander Calder, or Sandy to those who knew him, was a joyous, playful man who did not call himself an artist. But, oh what an artist he was! His gigantic, colorful metal sculptures and his amazing mobiles can be seen in public places all over the world. One of his first creations was a wonderful, whimsical that made out of found materials such as wire, cork, and paper. Imagine a big bear of a man down on his hands and knees, making his clever creations leap, run, and dance to the delight of everyone who watched. This is the story of Sandy's magical, moveable circus.

Color Train book
#5
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.

  1. Out of This World - A gorgeously illustrated picture book biography about the fascinating life of surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, from Michelle Markel and Amanda Hall, the acclaimed team behind The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau. Ever since she was a little girl, Leonora Carrington loved to draw on walls, in books, on paper—and she loved the fantastic tales her grandmother told that took her to worlds that shimmered beyond this one, where legends became real. Leonora’s parents wanted her to become a proper English lady, but there was only one thing she wanted, even if it was unsuitable: to be an artist. In London, she discovered a group of artists called surrealists, who were stunning the world with their mysterious creations. This was the kind of art she had to make. This was the kind of person she had to be. From life in Paris creating art alongside Max Ernst, to Mexico where she met Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Leonora’s life became intertwined with powerful events and people that shaped the twentieth century. Out of This World is the powerful, stunningly told story of Leonora Carrington, a girl who made art out of her imagination and created some of the most enigmatic and startling works of the last eighty years.

  2. Imogen - Introduces the life and achievements of twentieth-century photographer Imogen Cunningham, describing her first darkroom experiments during childhood and the challenges she faced as a mother of three boys.

  3. The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright - A little boy who loves to find shapes in nature grows up to be one of America’s greatest architects in this inspiring biography of Frank Lloyd Wright. When Frank Lloyd Wright was a baby, his mother dreamed that he would become a great architect. She gave him blocks to play with and he learned that shapes are made up of many other shapes. As he grew up, he loved finding shapes in nature. Wright went on to study architecture and create buildings that were one with the natural world around them. He became known as one of the greatest American architects of all time.

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