Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to drawing. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about drawing.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about drawing, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Dog Loves Drawing to popular sellers like Harold and the Purple Crayon to some of our favorite hidden gems like Ish.
We hope this list of kids books about drawing can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
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.
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.
Dog loves books, but one day he receives a strange one in the mail—it’s blank! Soon, Dog realizes that this book is not for reading, but for drawing. Before long, Dog is doodling and drawing himself into a new world, full of friends and surprises.
Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which “mistakes” can blossom into inspiration
One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake. The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush. And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky.
As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too.
Fans of Peter Reynolds’s Ish and Patrick McDonnell’s A Perfectly Messed-Up Story will love the funny, poignant, completely unique storytelling of The Book of Mistakes. And, like Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, it makes the perfect graduation gift, encouraging readers to have a positive outlook as they learn to face life’s obstacles.
For fans of Olivia and Eloise, this stunning debut from Kelly Light is an irresistible story about the importance of creativity in all its forms. Meet Louise. Louise loves art more than anything. It’s her imagination on the outside. She is determined to create a masterpiece—her pièce de résistance! Louise also loves Art, her little brother. This is their story. Louise Loves Art is a celebration of the brilliant artist who resides in all of us.
Ben Draws Trouble - Ben loves to draw and does so in all of his classes, but his drawings of people are so good he is afraid to let his classmates see them, until the day he loses his notebook and his talent is revealed.
When I Draw a Panda - From the acclaimed author and illustrator of The Big Umbrella comes a delightful celebration of creativity and gumption about a girl and her panda that’s Calvin and Hobbes meets If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!
Sometimes when they say to draw a perfect circle, mine turn out a little wonky.
I can draw a perfect fluffy cloud, a perfect scoop of ice cream, and a perfect flat tire.
So when I draw a panda, I keep drawing more and more not-perfect circles until I see a panda.
Then I step back and think, Does it need something else? He probably needs a hat, and then he is my panda. When a girl draws a panda, it comes to life and helps her embrace her own creativity and unique way of seeing the world.
Knit Together - New from an award-winning illustrator comes a sweet story of mothers and daughters, drawing and knitting, and learning to embrace your talents—just right for Mother’s Day. Drawing is fun, but knitting is better—because you can wear it! Knitting isn’t easy, though, and can be a little frustrating. Maybe the best thing to do is combine talents. A trip to the beach offers plenty of inspiration. Soon mom and daughter are collaborating on a piece of art they can share together: a special drawing made into a knitted beach blanket. For every mom and daughter, this is an arts-and-crafts ode creative passion and working together.
Sam & Eva - Harold and the Purple Crayon meets Tom and Jerry in this sweet and funny picture book about a boy and girl who must balance their creativity and figure out how to cooperate after their drawings come to life. When Sam starts drawing a super cool velociraptor, Eva decides to join in. But Sam isn’t too happy about the collaboration. Soon Eva and Sam are locked in an epic creative clash, bringing to life everything from superhero marmots to exploding confetti. But when their masterpieces turn to mayhem will Sam stay stubbornly solo or will he realize that sometimes the best work comes from teamwork?
A hilarious picture book in Day-Glo colors all about worms that is perfect for fans of The Book With No Pictures and The Day the Crayons Quit. This is part counting book, part introduction to worms, but all superbly silly. The fact that the author/illustrator can only draw worms will not take anything away from the laugh-out-loud adventure readers will have as they turn the pages of this slightly subversive picture book.
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.
I would love to be a teacher because I love children and I think that not enough people respect children or understand how important they are. I have done many projects with children of all ages. —Keith Haring
From Matthew Burgess, the much-acclaimed author of Enormous Smallness, comes Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring. Often seen drawing in white chalk on the matte black paper of unused advertising space in the subway, Haring’s iconic pop art and graffiti-like style transformed the New York City underground in the 1980s. A member of the LGBTQ community, Haring died tragically at the age of thirty-one from AIDS-related complications. Illustrated in paint by Josh Cochran, himself a specialist in bright, dense, conceptual drawings, this honest, celebratory book honors Haring’s life and art, along with his very special connection with kids.
A little girl imagines her best friend who comes to life one magical afternoon in this heartwarming, debut picture book from popular Etsy artist Lisa Stubbs.
Lily likes nothing better than to imagine and draw the things she loves. She draws cats and birds and boats and houses, and one day she makes a very special drawing of a bear who comes to life. Lily shows Bear her favorite things, and Bear shows Lily his—because everyone knows that friends help friends see the world in a new way. That’s why Lily and Bear are forever friends!
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.
Linus The Little Yellow Pencil - Linus and his eraser, Ernie, don’t always see eye to eye. But with the family art show drawing near, these two will have to sharpen their collaboration to make something neither one could do on their own! This ode to art by the illustrator of Spoon and Chopsticks points out the power of sharing the creative process and sticking with it.
The Chalk Giraffe - A little girl’s imagination springs to life when the chalk giraffe she drew on the pavement begins talking to her. But then the fickle giraffe begins making demands, and the girl must draw surroundings to fulfill his requests…a tree, soft grass, and animal friends. But nothing seems to please him! This delightful rhyming story escalates until the girl draws a laughing giraffe companion that cheers up the grumpy giraffe at last.
Pencil's Perfect Picture - 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?
Return - Welcome the much-anticipated finale of Caldecott Honoree Aaron Becker’s wordless trilogy—a spectacular, emotionally satisfying story that brings its adventurer home. Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure. It’s her third journey into the enticing realm of kings and emperors, castles and canals, exotic creatures and enchanting landscapes. This time, it will take something truly powerful to persuade her to return home, as a gripping backstory is revealed that will hold readers in its thrall. Caldecott Honor winner Aaron Becker delivers a suspenseful and moving climax to his wordless trilogy, an epic that began with the award-winning Journey and continued with the celebrated follow-up Quest.
Nola loves her scribbles. They go with her wherever she goes. But she can’t seem to share her scribbles with others―no one seems to understand the imaginative world she’s created for herself. Frustrated and uninspired, Nola draws a blank. A big, boring blank.
But when Nola falls deep into a creative slump, she discovers she’s not alone. If she can find the courage to share her scribbled ideas again, she may just inspire others to think outside the box and give their ideas a try too.
With playful illustrations, this imaginative tale shows readers of all ages the power in persevering to create and embrace unique expression.
It’s time to go, but no one can find Hannah! That’s because she’s in the park with much to do. She needs to collect caterpillars and sticks, make a bow and arrow, and build a bed out of leaves. Deep in the shrubs, she sets up a secret hideout for herself and her companion, an Odd Furry Creature. Together, they hunker down over the campfire, lost in their own little world. But then a voice cuts through the branches and clearly says, “Where are you?” Hannah brushes off her paper, and the reader learns that Hannah was lost—not in the woods—but in her drawing. This dreamlike, lyrical picture book with shades of Where the Wild Things Are illustrates the power of imagination to transport us to new worlds.
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.
This charming book is a story about a boy nicknamed Sparky and his beloved dog, Spike. Spike is the most amazing dog ever. He inspires Sparky to draw. Someday, Sparky will be an artist. Based on the childhood of Charles Schulz, creator of the world-renowned Peanuts comic, and the dog who inspired the most beloved dog of all—Snoopy—this book will resonate with children everywhere. Sparky & Spike includes a biographical note, as well as archival photographs of Sparky and Spike and a letter Charles Schulz wrote to the book’s illustrator, Dan Andreasen, when Andreasen was a boy.
A book that kids can illustrate WITH Dr. Seuss!
Budding artists and Seuss fans alike will be delighted to get their hands (crayons, markers, and/or pencils) on this expanded hardcover edition of a coloring classic! The full-color images in this book are all unfinished. Some are missing small things, like legs or feet or hair. Some are missing BIG things, like the whole front half of a Hamika-Snamika-Bamika-Bunt! It’s up to the reader to add what’s missing. So whether kids are beginner or advanced artists, there’s something here for all skill levels. Perfect for rainy days or travel (and bound to become a cherished family keepsake), this is a book that kids are supposed to draw all over! It’s a great gift for birthdays, holidays, and happy occasions of all kinds!
Chalk - Three children discover a magical bag of chalk on a rainy day
Cherries and Cherry Pits - This is Bidemmi’s book. Enter her world, look at the pictures she draws as she tells her stories. You will never forget her.
Simon's Book - Simon dreams that two drawing pens try to save him from the attack of a scary monster.
Draw me a star. And the artist drew a star. It was a good star. Draw me a sun, said the star. And the artist drew a sun. _And on the artist draws, bringing the world to life picture by beautiful picture until he is spirited across the night sky by a star that shines on all he has made. In _Draw Me a Star, Eric Carle celebrates the imagination in all of us with a beguiling story about a young artist who creates a world of light and possibility.
Draw the Line is a powerful picture book about forgiveness from Kathryn Otoshi, author of the bestselling book One.
When two boys draw their own lines and realize they can connect them together―magic happens!
But a misstep causes their lines to get crossed.
Push! Pull! Tug! Yank! Soon their line unravels into an angry tug-of-war.
With a growing rift between them, will the boys ever find a way to come together again?
Acclaimed author/illustrator Kathryn Otoshi uses black and white illustrations with thoughtful splashes of color to create a powerful, multi-layered statement about friendship, boundaries, and healing after conflict.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2017
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.
Bea Garcia is an artist. She draws anywhere and everywhere—but mostly in her own notebook. When Bea’s first and only best friend Yvonne moves to Australia, not even drawing makes Bea feel better. And things only get worse when a loud, rambunctious boy moves in next door. He’s nothing at all like Yvonne! But with a little imagination and a whole lot of doodles, Bea Garcia might just make a new friend.
Bea Garcia is looking for a new best friend, and she almost has one—the smartest girl in school, Judith Einstein. So when Einstein asks Bea to be her partner in the upcoming school geography contest, Bea is thrilled…at first. Schoolwork comes so easily to Einstein that Bea thinks the secret might be Einstein’s special pencil. But when Bea takes Einstein’s pencil home, it’s not quite what she expected.
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