15 of the Best books about art for children of all ages
Kids are naturally creative, and creativity is an important part of health and happiness. Picasso said, “Every child is an artist.” Art improves children’s problem-solving skills, fine motor skills, self-expression, and self-esteem. Reading books about art and artists can help nurture these skills, as well as encourage imagination, individuality, and perseverance. Here are 15 Reading Boots favorites to inspire the creativity within.
The Dot, by Peter Reynolds, a sweet and meaningful story about a girl who thinks she’s not good at art, and how one dot begins her process of self-discovery. A message that will resonate with children and adults alike, a must-have book. (Ages 5 and up)
Ish, by Peter Reynolds, another clever and meaningful Peter Reynolds book about a boy who initially sees his art as a failure, but eventually learns to appreciate its individuality and creative spirit. (Ages 5 and up)
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More, by Karen Beaumont is a hilarious song filled book about a spirited child who loves to paint even if it gets a little messy. Mom on the other hand, isn’t a fan of paint all over the house. (Ages 2-8)
Art Is . . . by Bob Raczka, simple rhyming verse pairs with reproductions of famous works of art to help children learn that art comes in many different forms. (Ages 4-10)
There Are No Animals in this Book (Only Feelings), by Chani Sanchez, a book about feelings, using famous works of art by contemporary artists as illustrations for the emotions expressed. A fun read aloud with a humorous ending. (Ages 3-8)
Beautiful Oops!, by Barney Saltzberg, a delightful book that celebrates mistakes, with pop-outs and flaps that reveal how a mistake can be turned into something wonderful. (Ages 3-10)
Mix It Up! By Herve Tullet, a vibrant and interactive picture book that involves kids in imaginative play while experiencing the magic of color mixing. (Ages 3-6)
I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean, by Kevin Sherry, a funny story about a giant squid who squirts ink and believes he’s the best artist in the ocean. An amusing reveal of his masterpiece appears at the end. (Ages 4-8)
Art, by Patrick McDonnell, an imaginative story about boy named Art, who creates swirls, dots, zigzags and doodles that eventually form a scene that he enters. A sweet ending (no spoilers from me). (Ages 4-7)
Art and Max, by David Wiesner, stunning illustrations, by this three-time Caldecott winner, tell an imaginative story about two amphibious creatures and their amazing exploits with paints and brushes. (Ages 4-10)
Chalk, by Bill Thomson, a wordless picture book with spectacular illustrations about three children who find a bag of chalk and begin to draw, only to discover that the chalk is magical and their drawings become real. Some lifelike giant creatures might be scary for little ones. (Ages 4-10)
Perfect Square, by Michael Hall, colorful illustrations show how a perfect red square transforms itself into imaginative shapes and objects. An ideal book to encourage creativity in children. (Ages 4-10)
Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson, a charming story about a boy with a purple crayon who draws himself into a magical evening adventure and finds his way into bed at the end. A classic bedtime story that celebrates problem-solving and the power of the imagination. (Ages 3-8)
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, by Eric Carle, vibrant, collage illustrations of animals in surprising colors, will inspire budding artists to use imagination and creativity in their own unique ways. (Ages 2-8)
Mini Masters Boxed Set, (4 board books) by Julie Merberg, a perfect introduction to art appreciation that includes four books about different Impressionist artists, with reproductions of their paintings, paired with rhyming text. (Ages 1-6)
Have fun reading these art inspired books with your child and sharing the countless places imagination can take you.
Get your Reading Boots on enjoy the journey!