Best Kids Books About Art

82 Kids 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.

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear book
#2
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
#3
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.

Claudia & Moth book
#4
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 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.

The Magical Life of Mr. Renny book
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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 Cloud book
#9
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.

Melia and Jo book
#10
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.

Crocodali book
#11
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.

Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing book
#12
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.

Rabbityness book
#13
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.

My Own Very Busy Spider Coloring Book book
#14
My Own Very Busy Spider Coloring Book
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

The Very Busy Spider is now available as a coloring book! Perfect for both reading and coloring, this interactive picture book follows an industrious spider as she carefully spins her web. A cow, a pig, and other farm animals want her to play--but a busy spider needs to finish her work, or there'll be no dinner. Special artwork made just for coloring and blank pages at the end for original drawings give this classic story new life. A sure-fire hit for creative children everywhere.

The Day the Crayons Quit book
#15
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?

Kenya's Art book
#16
Kenya's Art
Written by Linda Trice and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Kenya’s class is on spring vacation and their teacher asked them to write a report about how they spent their time. But vacation is almost over and Kenya hasn’t done anything worth noting. A late visit to a museum’s recycling exhibit and a walk through her neighborhood with her daddy inspire Kenya to use her old, broken toys and other items to make art with her family. Now she’s prepared to teach her whole class how to Recycle! Reuse! Make Art!

With My Hands: Poems About Making Things book
#17
With My Hands: Poems About Making Things
Written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Steve Johnson, Lou Fancher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

Ella book
#18
Ella
Written by Mallory Kasdan and illustrated by Marcos Chin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A clever parody about a little girl living in a hipster hotel. This is ELLA. She is six years old. She lives at the Local Hotel. She has a nanny called Manny. He has tattoos for sleeves and he might go in with some guys to buy a grilled cheese truck. Sometimes Ella weaves purses out of Ziploc bags and reclaimed twine. (She is artsy of course.) She has a dog named Stacie and a fish named Rasta and a scooter which is important for getting everywhere she needs to be. Altogether she has been to 62 events including that Hillary Clinton fundraiser. She is NEVER bored. If Ella and Kay Thompson’s Eloise got together for a play date, they would have a very good time indeed.

Cloth Lullaby book
#19
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.

Stalebread Charlie and the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band book
#20
Stalebread Charlie and the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band
Written by Michael Mahin and illustrated by Don Tate
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

It's 1895, and ten-year-old Stalebread Charlie and his friend Warm Gravy roam the streets of New Orleans, homeless and hungry. Stalebread has heard folks say that music feeds the soul—and he wonders if it could also fill their bellies. Soon he and his friends are playing instruments made out of junk—a fiddle from a cigar box, a kazoo from a comb—until their hats are filled with coins, their bellies are filled with beignets, and their souls are filled with music. This inspiring make-lemonade-from-lemons tale includes author/illustrator notes about the real Stalebread and the research behind the book and a make-your-own-instrument activity.

How to Knit a Monster book
#21
How to Knit a Monster
Written and illustrated by Annemarie van Haeringen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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!

The Magical Ice Palace book
#22
The Magical Ice Palace
Written by Lindsay Taylor, 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.

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.

A Paintbrush for Paco book
#24
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!

Sam & Eva book
#25
Sam & Eva
Written and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sam does not want Eva to add to his drawing, but when the scene comes to life and gets out of control, she helps him escape.

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