Books by Theme

Books About Art

Making a Great Exhibition

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.

A Boy Named Isamu: A Story of Isamu Noguchi

By: James Yang
Genre: Biography
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Stones look like birds. And birds look like stones. Imagine a day in the boyhood of Japanese American artist, Isamu Noguchi. Wandering through an outdoor market, through the forest, and then by the ocean, Isamu sees things through the eyes of a young artist ... but also in a way that many children will relate. 

A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poetry

A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poetry

By: Paul Janeczko
Illustrated by: Chris Raschka
Genre: Poetry
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

Action Jackson

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

The artist Jackson Pollack’s style and energy in his piece Number 1 1950 earned him the nickname Action Jackson. Fascinating details emerge as the art, environment, and inspiration of Jackson Pollack are presented in a carefully crafted, well-told, and vivaciously illustrated picture book biography.  

Animals:  A First Art Book

Animals: A First Art Book

By: Lucy Micklethwait
Genre: Nonfiction
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

Art

By: Patrick McDonnell
Genre: Nonfiction
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

Begin at the Beginning: A Little Artist Learns About Life

By: Amy Schwartz
Genre: Fiction
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.

Black Artists Shaping the World

By: Sharna Jackson
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Dedicated to the work of contemporary Black artists from around the world, this engaging book introduces young readers to twenty-six contemporary artists from Africa and of the African diaspora, working in everything from painting, sculpture, and drawing to ceramics, installation art, and sound art.

Dreamer from the Village: The Story of Marc Chagall

Dreamer from the Village: The Story of Marc Chagall

By: Michelle Markel
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
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

Look! Body Language in Art

By: Gillian Wolfe
Genre: Nonfiction
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.

Making a Great Exhibition

By: Doro Globus
Illustrated by: Rose Blake
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

How does an artist make a sculpture or a painting? What tools do they use? What happens to the artwork next? This fun, inside look at the life of an artwork shows the journey of two artists’ work from studio to exhibition. Stopping along the way we meet colorful characters — curators, photographers, shippers, museum visitors, and more.

Sister Corita’s Words and Shapes

Sister Corita’s Words and Shapes

By: Jeanette Winter
Genre: Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A picture book biography of Sister Corita, a nun, educator, and activist who became a celebrated pop artist while creating works meant to inspire good in others. Through her art, she called for an end to the Vietnam War and advocated for women’s rights, civil rights, and tolerance and love in a time of social upheaval. Her legacy as a teacher, activist, and artist with great creativity, compassion, and perseverance will inspire young readers.

The Dot

The Dot

By: Peter Reynolds
Genre: Fiction
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

The Sound of Colors

By: Jimmy Liao
Genre: Fiction
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

Uncle Andy’s: A Faabbulous Visit with Andy Warhol

By: James Warhola
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
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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