We do love a good book, don’t we? We have shared many different booklists to inspire young readers, from books about nature, science and even puberty. I had a wonderful time pulling together this collection of creative art books for kids. I’m sure you’re kids will find plenty of inspiration in the pages of these books.
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This book list was a whole lot of fun to pull together. I love learning about artists and finding inspiring books for kids. These books will encourage kids to explore their artistic side. To pick up paint or paper or scissors or rocks or bones…whatever they can imagine.
These books would be fantastic as gifts for kids too. Include some art supplies and you have a fabulous gift for any kid.
Creative Art Books for Kids
Ed Emberly’s Drawing Book of Animals – We are so fortunate to have the copy of this book that was my husband’s when he was a little boy. My kids have drawn every single animal inside…amazing!
Ed Emberly’s Drawing Book: Make a World – And, if you’re going to have the book of animals then you might as well have the Make a World book too. These books are a great way to kick off the summer or the perfect gift for kids of any age.
Yayoi Kusama from Here to Infinity by Sarah Suzuki – We had the pleasure of experiencing Yayoi Kusama’s art installations, which were…amazing. In this book, Sarah Suzuki introduces readers to the story of Kusama’s remarkable life and her dot-filled artwork.
Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter – A bright and colourful picture book that introduces young readers to the life and work of Henri Matisse. It’s amazing to see what a person can do with paper and scissors.
Me, Frida by Amy Novesky – The true story of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. This book tells the story of Frida and her husband, Diego Rivera’s experiences after moving to San Francisco. She soon evolved personally and artistically. A beautifully illustrated book that brings the story of Frida to life.
Who is Frida Khalo? by Sarah Fabiny – The “Who is…” series of books is a wonderful tool to teach children the stories of many people, including famous artists. You will find the story of Frida Khalo, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and many more.
Mix It Up by Herve Tullet – Introduce the kids to the concept of colour mixing with this playful, interactive book from the best-selling author, Herve Tullet. When you are done reading this book pull out the paints and have some fun mixing the colours in your palette.
Anywhere Artist by Nikki Slade Robinson – Do you need a fancy canvas and oil paints to be an “artist”? Nope. You can create art from anything, anywhere and at anytime. This book will inspire kids to make art from found objects! We love a reduce, reuse and recycle theme.
Matisse’s Garden by Samantha Friedman – Another beautiful book all about Henri Matisse. Did you know that Matisse covered his home’s walls with paper cutouts? Learn all about his “garden” and how you can make your own. This book even includes interactive, fold-out pages.
How to Spot an Artist by Danielle Krysa – I LOVE this book! A super encouraging book for budding artists. Encouraging kids to be whatever kind of artist they want to be and to never let anyone bully them into quieting their artistic selves. There are even a few art project ideas provided at the end of the book.
Katie and the Starry Night by James Mayhew – Imagine if you could jump inside Van Gogh’s famous Starry Starry Night painting. Well, Katie does just that and she doesn’t stop there…she dives into many of his most famous paintings and explore the artwork too. Educational and fun for kids.
Collage Workshop for Kids: Rip, snip, cut, and create with inspiration from The Eric Carle Museum by Shannon Merenstien – We love Eric Carle! His books and his art. This book is filled with instructions for making your own Eric Carle inspired collage art.
Art That Changed The World: Transformative Art Movements and Paintings that Inspired Them by DK Press – If your kids love facts upon facts, then this is the book you need. Filled with the stories behind every major art movement from cave drawings to the present day. Amazingly fact-packed and filled with illustrations and photos too.
how to draw all the things for kids by Alli Koch – Okay, I know this says it’s for kids but it’s actually for anyone who wants to learn how to draw everything. Fun text and plenty of easy-to-follow instructions make this a fantastic book for beginner artists, of all ages.
Hirameki Draw What You See by Peng and Hu – Have you ever looked a splotch or splat and thought you saw an animal or a face? Yes! Then you are going to love this book. A totally inspiring art book for kids of all ages.
Vincent Can’t Sleep by Barb Rosenstock – Author, Barb Rosenstock has found a lyrical way to explore the life of Vincent Van Gogh. Learn how his inability to sleep at night inspired one of his most famous starlit paintings. This book is one in a series Rosenstock wrote about famous artists – Mornings with Monet and The Noisey Paintbox: The Color and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art.
Georgia’s Bones by Jen Bryant – Georgia O’Keefe’s art often featured found objects like animal bones and wood pieces. Bryant takes readers through Georgia’s life from a childhood of collecting shells and stones to a woman creating art inspired by things she found in the desert. Beautifully illustrated and a lovely, simple story of an artist finding inspiration in unlikely objects.
Action Jackson by Jan Greenberg – Jackson Pollack is a wonderful artist to introduce young children to. This book follows Pollock’s process of bringing his canvas to life. How he used paint in the most unconventional ways. How he would stop and start and stop and start his paintings, until he felt they were done. How much of his heart and energy went into his pieces. A fantastic biography of one of my favourite artists.
A blank sketch book by your kid – Here’s one of the most important books you kid will ever have, an empty sketch book. Let them fill the pages any way they like. Let their inner artist shine through.
Check out this collection of creative art projects for tweens
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