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Books About Art

We're all artists, though some of us aren't aware of our talents. Some artists are famous, like Jackson Pollack, Marc Chagall, or Andy Warhol. Others are recognized by their families or their teachers. Some people create art only for themselves. But learning to look and stopping to see brings out the artist in each of us. In these books recommended for children ages 0-9 you'll read about artists you may know, the artist you already are, or the artist you could be.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poetry

By: Paul Janeczko
Illustrated by: Chris Raschka
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In this creative collection, words are used as objects to create images — both on the page and in the reader’s mind. These literal representations make poetry and imagery accessible even to very young children.

Action Jackson

By: Jan Greenberg, Sandra Jordan
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Jackson Pollack’s style and energy in his piece Number 1 1950 earned him the nickname Action Jackson. This carefully crafted biography reveals the fascinating details of Pollack’s art, environment, and inspiration.

Animals: A First Art Book

By: Lucy Micklethwait
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Young children will delight in seeing familiar animals in their natural habitats, portrayed in the distinct styles of various artists. Lively descriptions accompany the illustrations, and endnotes include artist, time period, and owning museums.

Art

By: Patrick McDonnell
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A young artist named Art lives up to his name and takes the reader on a vibrant journey where color and line race from page to page. Art’s exuberance is portrayed with nimble illustrations, translucent colors, and rhyming language.

Begin at the Beginning: A Little Artist Learns About Life

By: Amy Schwartz
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Sara has initial hesitations when she is asked to create a painting for the class art show. But when her mother suggests that the universe Sara wants to paint starts right outside her window, Sara opens the door to the art all around her. Child-like watercolors present Sara’s creative process - from being overwhelmed to finding inspiration.

Dreamer from the Village: The Story of Marc Chagall

By: Michelle Markel
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Artist Marc Chagall’s early life is represented through engaging narrative and illustrations that call to mind Chagall’s own work. A reproduction of one of his paintings is included.

Look! Body Language in Art

By: Gillian Wolfe
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Artists use line and color to convey meaning and invite interpretation. Seventeen pieces of art are used to explore various depictions of faces, hands, and forms. Additional information about the work and the artists are presented in the final section.

The Dot

By: Peter Reynolds
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This clever tale follows two child artists, Vashti and Ramon, through the creative process. Though they are influenced by encouraging teachers and discouraging siblings, they ultimately discover that everyone sees a piece of art a little bit differently. The important lesson is finding the beauty in your own work.

The Sound of Colors

By: Jimmy Liao
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

As a girl's sight is slipping away, she realizes that color and images continue to live in her imagination. Her travels by subway show highly detailed patterns all around her and her artistic vision is heightened as her senses begin blending together. Children will want to slow down to see the "sound of color."

Uncle Andys: A Faabbulous Visit with Andy Warhol

By: James Warhola
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

James recounts one family visit to see his uncle and grandmother in New York City. Uncle Andy (who dropped the "a" from his surname) is an artist who would rock the art world, but who is appreciated here as the eccentric uncle of a slightly offbeat family. Warhol’s images are conjured in this energetic family memoir.

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"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read." — Abraham Lincoln