Reading List: Art
Art is everywhere, and as children become more comfortable with their fine motor skills, there is more they can create. From finger painting to more delicate collage work and design, the possibilities shift and change over time. As children experiment with producing art themselves, it can be beneficial for them to learn about the many art forms in existence. This awareness can inspire further discovery and exploration both in reading about and in creating art. The books in this list are selected for readers and budding artists ages 5-7. Some titles can be used to inspire art projects directly, while other selections tell of famous artists and popular art forms that may be unfamiliar to young readers.
Contributed by: Mary Lanni
|Art and Max
By: David Wiesner
Max wants to be an artist like Arthur, but his first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various media, leading them to unexpected consequences.
|The Big Book of Art
By: Hervé Tullet
This spiral-bound, divided-page book with die-cuts encourages children to look at art from every angle, mixing and matching to create their own masterpieces.
|Emily’s Blue Period
By: Cathleen Daly
Illustrated by: Lisa Brown
After her parents get divorced, Emily finds comfort in making and learning about art.
|The Iridescence of Birds
By: Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated by: Hadley Hooper
If you were a boy named Henri Matisse who lived in a dreary town in northern France, what would your life be like? Would it be full of color and art? Full of lines and dancing figures?
Find out in this beautiful, unusual picture book about one of the world’s most famous and influential artists by acclaimed author and Newbery Medal-winning Patricia MacLachlan and innovative illustrator Hadley Hooper.
|The Jellybeans and the Big Art Adventure
By: Laura Joffe Numeroff and Nate Evans
Illustrated by: Lynn Munsinger
The Jelly Beans—four friends who like to do such different things as paint, play soccer, read, and dance—paint a mural on an outside wall of Mrs. Petunia Dinkley-Sneezer’s candy shop that depicts them each doing what they love best.
By: Linda Trice
Illustrated by: Hazel Mitchell
Instructed to get rid of all her broken toys, Kenya, with the help of her father, recycles them into art for her class project.
|Let’s Make Art
By: Bill Stich
Explains what sort of supplies people use to create works of art, including pencils to draw, paper to make an origami bird, and a camera to take photographs.
|The Little Hands Art Book
By: Judy Press
Arranged by such materials as paper, paint, clay, and markers, this book offers instructions for making over eighty art projects, including a paper car, Valentine mobile, clay snowman, and colorful kite.
|Math Arts: Exploring Math Through Art for 3 to 6 year olds
By: MaryAnn F. Kohl & Cindy Gainer
In Math Arts, children will: learn shape recognition by creating a Living Shape Sculpture, explore patterns with a Sticky Dot Illusion, discover the whole and its parts through a Parts and Pieces Relief, practice early graphing with a Cookie Graph, and much more.
|Max and Zoe: The Very Best Art Project
By: Shelley Swanson Sateren
Illustrated by: Mary Sullivan
When Zoe has trouble drawing a self-portrait for the second-grade art project, she turns to Max for help.
|Shapes in Art
By: Rebecca Rissman
Can you spot the shape? Read this book to find out about the different shapes you can find in art. Books in this series introduce children to different shapes in a range of situations. Each book uses simple, repetitive text to teach children basic vocabulary, and includes stunning photographs that show how shapes can be found in many places. In Shapes in Art, children have to find a selection of shapes in paintings, sculptures, and other works of art.
By: Yuyi Morales
Photography by: Tim O’Meara
The bilingual text explores the famous artist’s life and illuminates the laughter, love, and tragedy that influenced her work.