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



9780618756636 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.
9780714863498 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.
9781596434691 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.
9781596439481 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.
9781419701719 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.
1570918481 Kenya’s Art
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.
51bH8Ftlr9L._SX483_BO1,204,203,200_ 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.
9780824968205 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.
9780876591772 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.
1404872019 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.
9781432921699 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.
9781596436039 Viva Frida
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.


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