Art and Colors: 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 The Day the Crayons Quit to The Art Collector there’s something here for everyone’s tastes. Do you have a favorite book about art? Let us know!

The Day the Crayons Quit book
#1
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?

Color Blocked book
#2
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.

The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse book
#3
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.

Day the Crayons Came Home book
#4
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].

A Paintbrush for Paco book
#5
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!

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Color Train - 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.

  4. The Crayons' Book of Colors - 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.

I See a Pattern Here book
#10
I See a Pattern Here
Written and illustrated by Bruce Goldstone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

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.

Baby Code! Art book
#11
Baby Code! Art
Written by Sandra Horning and illustrated by Melissa Crowton
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

It’s never too early to get little ones interested in computer coding with this unique series of board books! How do you explain coding in art to a baby? By showing how it’s all around them, and how they can take part in it, of course! By using items in a baby’s world, like a camera or a block made from a 3D printer, this charming board book full of bright, colorful illustrations is the perfect introduction to coding in art for babies and their caregivers–and is sure to leave them wanting to learn more!

The Splintered Light book
#12
The Splintered Light
Written and illustrated by Ginger Johnson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

Vivid book
#13
Vivid
Written and illustrated by Julie Paschkis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

The Art Collector book
#14
The Art Collector
Written by Jan Wahl and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

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