art tools for kids

Top 5 Books to Spark a Love of Art

Kids are natural artists and creators, but it takes thoughtful encouragement to channel that first love of scribbling into a life-long enjoyment of art and design.  These books are our top picks for helping kids explore the importance and elements of great art.  Each book helps children appreciate the masterpieces of artists like Vincent van Gogh or Pablo Picasso, and some provide exercises to encourage children to make their own creative works.


What Make a Van Gogh book coverWhat Makes a van Gogh a van Gogh?
This excellent intro to art education from the Met starts with an intriguing question: what makes artists different from each other?  Explore what makes van Gogh’s pieces special before discussing what makes each student’s artwork unique.
Buy it on Amazon




radiant child cover

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

Modern art makes for a thrilling introduction to art for young kids.  Basquiat’s colorful, outside-the-lines art will capture attention, and the stitched-together feel of his artwork provides a wonderful tactile element.  This book won the Caldecott & Coretta Scot King Illustrator Awards! 
Buy it on Little, Brown or Amazon




Maybe Something Beautiful Cover

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, this is an excellent primer on the power of art to bring a neighborhood together.  The transition from gray buildings to winsome, bright art will delight young readers and inspire them to share their works with those around them.

Buy it on Bookshop or Amazon



Meet Wassily Kandinsky cover

Meet Wassily Kandinsky

We couldn't create a roundup without including one of our own Meet the Artist books.  This one is particularly useful because it connects art with songs and shapes, two other creative elements kids love!  The artist lovingly introduces his art, points out fascinating details, and poses thoughtful questions.

Buy it at Read With You or Amazon



My Museum cover

My Museum

A young boy is stuck in a crowded art museum – and he finds art in the most unexpected places!  From the sunlight’s patterns to a visitor’s tattoos, the whimsical illustrations remind us that art is in the eye of the beholder.   Every child will enjoy this celebration of independent exploration and unusual perspectives.

Buy it on Bookshop or Amazon



 Bonus Book! 

Shapes in Art cover

Shapes in Art

For the youngest art aficionado in your life, we suggest Shapes in  Art, a high-contrast board book that pairs foundational shapes with famous artwork.  This adorable board book is a surefire baby shower or first-birthday favorite. 

Pre-order at Read With You

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