Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to painting. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about painting.
Our list includes board books and picture books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. 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. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about painting, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Willow to popular sellers like Viva Frida to some of our favorite hidden gems like Sky Color.
We hope this list of kids books about painting 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.
If Picasso Painted a Snowman - -If someone asked you to paint a snowman, you would probably start with three white circles stacked one upon another. Then you would add black dots for eyes, an orange triangle for a nose, and a black dotted smile. But if Picasso painted a snowman….-
Willow - Miss Hawthorn’s room is neat and tidy, not a pencil or paintbrush is out of place. And that’s how she likes it. And she likes trees that are colored green and apples that are painted red. Miss Hawthorn does not like things to be different or out of the ordinary. Into Miss Hawthorn’s classroom comes young Willow. She doesn’t color inside the lines, she breaks crayons, and she sees pink trees and blue apples. What will Miss Hawthorn think? Magical things can happen when your imagination is allowed to run wild, and for Miss Hawthorn the notion of what is art and what is possible is forever changed.Willow is the first joint writing effort for sisters Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan. Denise’s other Sleeping Bear Press books include Someday Is Not a Day of the Week and My Grandma Likes to Say. She lives in Howell, Michigan. Rosemarie Brennan juggles careers as a writing teacher and an author. She lives in Brighton, Michigan. Cyd Moore studied graphic design and fine arts at the University of Georgia. Her work includes posters, billboards, books, newspaper and magazine articles, and cassette and CD covers. She is the illustrator of I Love You, Stinky Face and I Miss You, Stinky Face. She lives in Commerce, Michigan.
Hi, I’m Norman: The Story of American Illustrator Norman Rockwell - “An inviting and admiring introduction to an important American artist.” —Kirkus Reviews From award-winning author Robert Burleigh comes a striking, intimate picture book biography about an American icon—beloved artist Norman Rockwell. Norman Rockwell is best known for capturing the American spirit as a painter and illustrator in the late twentieth century. This beautifully illustrated, first-person narrative explores Rockwell’s life in episodes based on important moments in American history. Norman Rockwell is not only a great American artist, but he also successfully chronicled two generations of American life, making him one of the most beloved and well-known American artists of all time.
Louise Loves Art - 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.
Crocodali - 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.
Portrait of an Artist: Claude Monet: Discover the Artist Behind the Masterpieces - A beautifully told art story for children, looking at Claude Monet’s life through his masterpieces. Accompanied by stunning original illustrations from Caroline Bonne-Muller. â??â??â??â??â?? - The Portrait of an Artist series is an excellent introduction to art and its importance to our world. Claude Monet is one of the best loved artists of all time. Find out how this special young painter strove to capture light and feeling in his paintings and how together with a group of talented friends, he came to start the most famous art movement of all time, Impressionism. In his long life he experienced war and heartbreak, love and the joy of family. See how his life shaped each piece of art he made and that throughout it all he never stopped trying to paint the ever changing light and glimmering water. In the end he built himself a garden filled with both, with waterlilies floating on dappled ponds setting the scene for his last, infamous masterpieces. A Monet masterpiece is featured on every spread. This art story also includes a closer look at 10 of Monet’s masterpieces at the back.
A Paintbrush for Paco - 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!
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!
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood - What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine! Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation—and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration!
Rosa's Animals - Painter and sculptor Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) led a highly nontraditional life, especially for a woman in the nineteenth century. She kept lions as pets, was awarded the Legion of Honor by Empress Eug�nie, and befriended “Buffalo Bill” Cody. She became a painter at a time when women were often only reluctantly educated as artists. Her unconventional artistic work habits, including visiting slaughterhouses to sketch an animal’s anatomy and wearing men’s clothing to gain access to places like a horse fair, where women were not allowed, helped her become one of the most beloved female painters of her time. Among the artworks discussed are The Horse Fair and Ploughing in the Nivernais. Along with her life story are a list of museums that house her work, a bibliography, and an index.
Li'l Sis & Uncle Willie - Surveys the life of African-American artist William H. Johnson as his young niece might have told it. The artist’s paintings provide the illustrations.
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.
One Boy - This die-cut book explores two (!) concepts: counting and words-within-words, while also telling a satisfying story about the power of art and imagination in one child’s life. ONE boy all alONE two SEAls in the SEA three APEs no escAPE four monKEYs hold the KEY A boy appears on the scene surrounded by empty chairs and looking awfully lonely. He’s got a backpack with a few splattered brushes hanging out. Suddenly, the pages of this book are filled with seals, apes, monkeys, and more. Brilliantly simple, and simply brilliant. T One Boy is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year. This title has Common Core connections.
John James Audubon Painted Birds - Introduce your baby to the stunning artwork of famous naturalist John James Audubon. John James Audubon was an ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He is known for his stunning illustrations and paintings of North American birds in their natural habitats, painting over 700 species discovering 25 new kinds of birds during his lifetime. John James Audubon Painted Birds shares his legacy and his love of nature with budding bird-watchers through a clever poem and gorgeous illustrations. As Audubon said, “the world is not given by [our] fathers, but borrowed from [our] children.” Kate Coombs has written several books for children, including the award winning poetry collection Water Sings Blue and most recently Goodnight Mr. Darcy. A former teacher of every grade from kindergarten through college, Kate makes her home in Utah. Seth Lucas is an illustrator and designer with a BFA in graphic design. He is the co-creator of Ello There Outdoors selling prints and accessories supporting the National Parks and outdoors. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife and daughter.
Isabella - 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!
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