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Art: Picture Books For Kids

This list of the best picture books about art is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Harold and the Purple Crayon to Isabella there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about art? Let us know!

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.

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.

My Big Book of the World's Greatest Art book
#3
My Big Book of the World's Greatest Art
Written and illustrated by Louise Lockhart
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

The Day the Crayons Quit book
#4
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?

Ish book
#5
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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Dot - Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher's encouragement leads her to change her mind.

  3. 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.

  4. The Magical Life of Mr. Renny - 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.

Sky Color book
#10
Sky Color
Written and illustrated by Peter H Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Color Blocked book
#11
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
#12
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.

The Selfish Giant book
#13
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.

Draw! book
#14
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.

  1. Sam & Eva - 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.

  2. The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse - 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.

  3. Melia and Jo - 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.

  4. Flora's Tree House - 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.

I Have an Idea! book
#19
I Have an Idea!
Written and illustrated by Herve Tullet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

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.

Crocodali book
#20
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.

Hey, Wall book
#21
Hey, Wall
Written by Susan Verde and illustrated by John Parra
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A boy takes on a community art project in order to make his neighborhood more beautiful in this empowering and inspiring picture book by Susan Verde, stunningly illustrated by award-winning artist John Parra. One creative boy. One bare, abandoned wall. One BIG idea. There is a wall in Ángel’s neighborhood. Around it, the community bustles with life: music, dancing, laughing. Not the wall. It is bleak. One boy decides to change that. But he can’t do it alone. Told in elegant verse by Susan Verde and vibrantly illustrated by John Parra, this inspiring picture book celebrates the power of art to tell a story and bring a community together.

Imagine! book
#22
Imagine!
Written and illustrated by Raul Colon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

A Paintbrush for Paco book
#23
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. Henry's Stars - 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.

  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. Sandy's Circus - 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.

  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.

Rabbityness book
#28
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.

The Magical Ice Palace book
#29
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.

Pencil's Perfect Picture book
#30
Pencil's Perfect Picture
Written by Jodi McKay and illustrated by Juliana Motzko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Pencil is trying to draw the perfect picture for his dad. So, he asks his friends Brush, Pastel, Marker, Crayon, and Chalk what makes their art perfect. But they each have a different answer. How will Pencil be able to create his own perfect picture?

Frida Kahlo book
#31
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
#32
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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Yasmin the Builder - 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.

  4. Dancing Through Fields of Color - 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.

Flights of Fancy book
#37
Flights of Fancy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In a beautiful anthology, ten children's book greats share stories, poems, pictures, tips, and prompts meant to inspire young readers to create works of their own. Have you ever sparked the start of a story by playing a game of What if? Is there any value to all that doodling you do? What does being "a sponge" have to do with facing down a blank page? Did you know that pictures can sometimes inspire stories, rather than the other way around? From Quentin Blake's drawings of fantastical vehicles to Michael Rosen's inside look at his poetry, from Anthony Browne's shape game (no need to be an artist to play) to Lauren Child's look at her creative process, this anthology -- whose contributors were all British Children's Laureates -- aims to encourage budding writers and artists to let their imaginations soar. The final spread is a collection of prompts from all the contributors, passing the creative torch to the next generation. With contributions by: Malorie Blackman Quentin Blake Anthony Browne Lauren Child Julia Donaldson Anne Fine Michael Morpurgo Chris Riddell Michael Rosen Jacqueline Wilson

First Words: Early Learning at the Museum book
#38
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.

Cloth Lullaby book
#39
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.

Little Guides to Great Lives: Leonardo Da Vinci book
#40
Little Guides to Great Lives: Leonardo Da Vinci
Written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Katja Spitzer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Most famous as the painter who created the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci is also one of history's greatest geniuses-he was a mathematician, architect, astronomer, scientist, and musician. and he even invented the helicopter! From artists to aviators and scientists to revolutionaries, Little Guides to Great Lives is a brand new series of small-format guides introducing children to the most inspirational figures from history in a fun, accessible way. Launching with Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Nelson Mandela, and Amelia Earhart, Little Guides to Great Lives tells the stories of the most amazing people from all over the world and across history, with full-color illustrations and fresh design to bring their incredible stories to life.

We're All Works of Art book
#41
We're All Works of Art
Written by Mark Sperring and illustrated by Rose Blake
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

There is no single masterpiece in art galleries or with people--we're all works of art in our own special way! Our skin tones might all vary; we're every shade and hue. Some people think we look surreal, and frankly, yes, we do! But we can make you tilt your head, and see the world anew. Pairing bright and engaging illustrations with relatable rhymes, this beautiful hardbound book celebrates diversity while teaching kids about different styles of art: from prehistoric cave art to surrealism, cubism, pop art, and contemporary art. Includes an appendix that provides brief descriptions of different art styles along with mentions of their most significant works and practitioners to encourage further exploration, including: Stonehenge the bust of Nefertiti Leonardo da Vinci Henri Matisse Joan Miró Rene Magritte Roy Lichtenstein Pauline Boty Rachel Whiteread Steve McQueen Mark Sperring works as a children's bookseller in Bristol, England. He's the author of the children's picture books The Naughty Naughty Baddies, I'll Love You Always, The Shape of My Heart, and How Many Sleeps Till Christmas. Rose Blake has an MA in communication art from the Royal College of Art. She's done illustration work for a variety of clients, including Disney, the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood, and Cartoon Network.

  1. 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.

  2. Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos - Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos, written by Monica Brown and illustrated by John Parra, is based on the life of one of the world's most influential painters, Frida Kahlo, and the animals that inspired her art and life. The fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her work brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and she is also renowned for her works celebrating the female form. Brown's story recounts Frida's beloved pets—two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn—and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal.

  3. 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?!

  4. Yasmin the Painter - Unsure about her artistic skills, second-grader Yasmin is not looking forward to the art competition at school--but with the support and encouragement of her family she produces a prize-winning painting.

JIMI: Sounds Like a Rainbow - A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix book
#46
JIMI: Sounds Like a Rainbow - A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix
Written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Jimi Hendrix was many things - a superstar, a rebel, a hero, an innovator. But first, he was a boy named Jimmy who loved to draw and paint and listen to records. A boy who played air guitar with a broomstick and longed for a real guitar of his own. A boy who asked himself a question: Could someone paint pictures with sound? This a story of a talented child who learns to see, hear, and interpret the world around him in his own unique way. It is also a story of a determined kid with a vision, who worked hard to become a devoted and masterful artist. Jimi Hendrix - a groundbreaking performer whose music shook the very foundations of rock 'n' roll.

Edward Hopper Paints His World book
#47
Edward Hopper Paints His World
Written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

As a boy, Edward Hopper knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up: on the cover of his pencil box, he wrote the words EDWARD HOPPER, WOULD-BE ARTIST. He traveled to New York and to Paris to hone his craft. And even though no one wanted to buy his paintings for a long time, he never stopped believing in his dream to be an artist. He was fascinated with painting light and shadow and his works explore this challenge.

Polka Dot Parade book
#48
Polka Dot Parade
Written by Deborah Blumenthal and illustrated by Masha D'yans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"Beautifully rendered and told, the book brings to life the work of a gifted 20th-century artist whose creative vision will always be in vogue." Kirkus Reviews, Starred review This is a moving and impassioned picture book about the iconic fashion photographer Bill Cunningham that will inspire young readers to go discover their own ideas of beauty and embolden the world with their own creativity! He found "sheer poetry" in the drape of an evening dress, delight in the swoosh of a knife-pleated skirt, and sartorial splendor in Jazz Age garb. Every day, Bill Cunningham pedaled his bike through New York City searching for beauty. As he took picture after picture, Bill found beauty not in people, but in their clothes. Drawn to bold and creative choices, Bill's photos captured the attention of the New York Times. He traveled to Paris for Fashion Week, and admiration for his work grew. With his sense of creativity and daringness, his own personal style of photography came to be known as street art photography. His photos left a lasting impression on all those who came across his work and they continue to inspire creativity today. This is the story of the legend who created street fashion photography and left behind a legacy of glorious pictures. Bill Cunningham used his passion and talent to capture the beauty he saw in fashion and the ultimate freedom that it represents to each and every person. This is an inspiring picture book about finding your path and being creative.

Clackety Track book
#49
Clackety Track
Written by Skila Brown and illustrated by Jamey Christoph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Queue up for a whistle-stop tour of trains of all kinds, narrated in lively verse and featuring dynamic retro artwork. Rows of grooves, cables, and bars. Graffiti rockin' out the cars. A badge of rust. A proud oil stain. There's nothin' plain about a train. Trains of all shapes and sizes are coming down the track -- bullet train, sleeper train, underground train, zoo train, and more. All aboard! Skila Brown's first-class poems, as varied as the trains themselves, reflect the excitement of train travel, while Jamey Christoph's vintage-style illustrations provide a wealth of authentic detail to pore over.

Violet and the Eggplant Painting Problem book
#50
Violet and the Eggplant Painting Problem
Written by Courtney Carbone, Cynthia Wylie and illustrated by Katya Longhi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In Violet and the Eggplant Painting Problem, Professor Sage holds a contest between the young Bloomers, where each must choose their favorite vegetable to grow and care for. Here, young readers are introduced to the character of Violet, a painter who loves purple. So of course she chooses to grow eggplants, and decides to make paintings of them to track their progress. But she runs into a problem—there’s no more purple paint! Violet quickly learns that she can gather blackberries to make her own purple paint, and she is able to paint her vegetables after all. Bloomers Island Garden of Stories picture books take young readers and listeners to Bloomers Island to experience the world of plants, flowers, and gardens through lively stories and lush illustrations.

  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 Quilts of Gee's Bend - Since the early nineteenth century, the women of Gee s Bend in southern Alabama have created stunning, vibrant quilts. In the only photo-essay book about the quilts of Gee s Bend for children, award-winning author Susan Goldman Rubin explores the history and culture of this fascinating group of women and their unique quilting traditions. Rubin uses meticulous research to offer an exclusive look at an important facet of African American art and culture. In the rural community of Gee s Bend, African American women have been making quilts for generations. They use scraps of old overalls, aprons, and bleached cornmeal sacks anything they can find. Their traditions have been passed down through the decades. Much to the women s surprise, a selection of the quilts was featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 2002. The exhibition then traveled to the Whitney Museum in New York City. Eye-poppingly gorgeous, wrote a critic for the "New York Times "about the exhibition. He continued, Some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced. The Metropolitan Museum of Art will exhibit its newly acquired collection of Gee s Bend quilts in 2017. Rubin is known for producing well-researched, highly praised, and sophisticated biographies of artists and other important figures. Through similar research, "The Quilts of Gee s Bend" shares specifics about this rare community and its rich traditions, allowing children to pause to consider history through the eyes of the people who lived it and through a legacy that is passed on to the next generation. This book should be of great interest to classrooms, libraries, and those interested in African American art in the United States, in addition to quilting, life in early emancipated colonies in the South, and Gee s Bends importance in the Civil Right s movement. The quilts and the incredible stories behind them are powerful motivators for anyone who wishes to accomplish anything. A map, directions on how to make a quilt square, endnotes, and an index round out this stunning nonfiction book. "

  4. The Chalk Rainbow - The Chalk Rainbow explores difference and diversity through a family living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It’s also a story of unconditional love, of trust and of learning to look at the world through the eyes of others. The story is told by Zane’s older sister in a way that young children can easily relate to. The ending is uplifting as all members of the family learn to look at things differently and find a way to move forward together.

When Pencil Met Eraser book
#55
When Pencil Met Eraser
Written by Luis O. Ramos, Jr., 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.

Too Much Glue book
#56
Too Much Glue
Written by Jason Lefebvre and illustrated by Zac Retz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Matty LOVES glue. At home with Dad, he makes glue glasses, glue mustaches, and glue bouncy balls. But at school, Matty’s art teacher worries and warns, “Too much glue never dries.” In art class one day, Matty decides to make the most fantastic glue project ever, with a super-special ingredient – himself! Ignoring his teacher’s warnings, Matty belly-flops onto the glue-covered table, rolls all around in the sequins and glitter, and encounters an unexpected glitch – when he tries to get up, he boings right back into the slippery, sticky mess! This calls for a dose of imagination and a little help from friends. They try a gigantic tow truck, some yarn lassoes, and dabbing Matty with everything in the nurse’s bag – but each wacky attempt only makes things worse! Finally Matty gets an idea from his hyperventilating teacher. Will it work, or will Matty be a half-boy, half-art project stuck- to-a-table forever?

A Life Made by Hand book
#57
A Life Made by Hand
Written and illustrated by Andrea D'Aquino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

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.

Madame Martine Breaks the Rules book
#58
Madame Martine Breaks the Rules
Written and illustrated by Sarah S Brannen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Madame Martine's friend Louis works at the Louvre Museum. When he suggests Madame Martine and her dog Max come visit him and see the works of art, Madame declines his invitation--she knows dogs are not allowed at the museum. But Max has a different plan! He sneaks into the Louvre and sends Madame and Louis on a chase around some of the world's most beautiful works of art.

How to Knit a Monster book
#59
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!

  1. 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.

  2. Rosa Draws - Take a fantastical ride through Rosa's imagination where you’ll meet a purple moose, a very posh goose, a peacock wearing socks and a super-speedy fox! Rosa loves to imagine and she really loves to draw. But as her drawings grow and grow, will they get her into trouble? This delightfully fun story, told with playful text and inventive characters, has a positive message and a heart-warming final twist that will resonate with both children and parents. Perfect for encouraging creativity and exploration in any child who’s ever picked up a pen or pencil.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

Crafty Llama book
#64
Crafty Llama
Written by Mike Kerr and illustrated by Renata Liwska
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Arty book
#65
Arty
Written and illustrated by William Bee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Join Arty the frog and find out how he became the world's greatest artist! As Arty creates a series of record-setting masterpieces, he ends up in some strange and funny situations, from balancing on a stepladder at the top of Mount Everest to being strapped to the wing of a supersonic plane. Kids will laugh at Arty's antics . . . and feel inspired, too.

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of the Arts book
#66
Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of the Arts
Written by Bob Cooper and illustrated by Greg Paprocki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of the Arts is a great way to encourage kids' interests in all manner of artistic pursuits that they might aspire to. This volume introduces children to the many different types of creative fields in the arts including drawing and painting, music and dance, writing, design, architecture, and photography."--Publisher's description.

Me and My Family Tree book
#67
Me and My Family Tree
Written by Joan Sweeney and illustrated by Emma Trithart
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Who is part of your family? How are they related to you? In this edition of Me and My Family Tree, with new art by Emma Trithart, a young girl uses simple language, her own childlike drawings, and diagrams to explain how the members of her family are related to each other and to her. Clear, colorful, detailed artwork and a fill-in family tree in the back help make the parts of the family--from siblings to grandparents to cousins--understandable to very young readers.

The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright book
#68
The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

  1. 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.

  2. Ella - 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.

  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.

  4. Isabella, Artist Extraordinaire - When Isabella has a day off from school, her mother suggests doing something special. Instead, Isabella walks her parents through all of the exciting things they could do as she imagines herself in famous paintings ranging from Van Gogh's The Starry Night to Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans. Through her musings, Isabella creates a wondrous museum of her own making, showing how home can be the most special place of all!

Isabella book
#73
Isabella
Written by Jennifer Fosberry and illustrated by Mike Litwin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The purple-haired star of the New York Times bestselling picture book series is back, and her imagination is turning her life into a wondrous work of art! When Isabella has a day off from school, her mother suggests doing something special. Instead, Isabella walks her parents through all of the exciting things they could do as she imagines herself in famous paintings ranging from Degas' Dancers in Blue to Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans. Through her musings, Isabella creates a wondrous museum of her own making, showing how home can be the most special place of all!

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