Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, August 30, 2010


Do you have a child who is interested in art?  Or should I ask:  do you want your child to be interested in art?  The are quite a few good children's books out there that will help foster a love and appreciation for well-known artists and their famous paintings.

A Child's Book of Art: Great Pictures - First Words, selections by Lucy Micklethwait.  You may have to look at the library for this out-of-print large format book.  The selection of paintings is arranged by themes that even the youngest children can relate to:  Pets, Animals on the Farm, Birds, Fruit, Colors, Shapes, Seasons, Faces, the Five Senses, A time to Play, A Time to Eat, and so on.  From ancient to modern works, Micklethwait's selections feature children, actions scenes, and a vibrant palette.  (ages 3 and up).
How Artists See... (series), by Colleen Carroll.  This series focuses on an interactive, inquiry-based approach to art, as the author presents various artists' work, according to the theme of each book.  Each volume presents 16 painting.  The text is full of thought-provoking questions, as well as activities. Biographies of the artists presented are provided at the end of each book, as well as suggestions for further reading and an international list of museums where each artist's works can be found.  (TITLES IN HOW ARTISTS SEE...FAMILIES: Mother, Father, Sister, Brother PLAY: Sports, Toys, Games, Imagination;  FEELINGS: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Love; ANIMALS: Mammal, Fish, Bird Reptile; THE WEATHER: Sun, Wind, Snow, Rain; HEROES: Myth, History, War, Everyday; CITIES: Streets, Buildings, Shops, Transportation)

Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists - series,  by Mike Venezia.  Some of the artists featured:  Da Vinci;  Michelangelo; Henri Matisse; Mary Cassatt; Rembrandt; Edgar Degas; Georges Seurat; Botticelli; Pierre Auguste Renoir; Monet. (grades 2 -5).  These are easy-to-read biographies of famous artists. Venezia's quirky cartoons of speculative events from the artists' lives are interspersed throughout the books.
Linnea in Monet's Garden, by Cristina Bjork, Lena Anderson, and Joan Sandin. (ages 7 and up).  Your child will feel like he/she is looking at Linnea's scrapbook of her trip to Monet's famous garden, in this creative book.   Sweet watercolor illustrations showing Linnea at Giverny, are juxtaposed with old fashioned photographs of Monet himself,  as Linnea shares, in her own words, her visit to see the famous water-lilies. There is also a biography of the artist, his family tree, and even a brief guide to Paris.
Katie Meets the Impressionists (series).  James Mayhew, author/illustrator. (ages 4-8)  In each book of this adorable series, Katie goes with her grandmother to visit a local art museum or gallery.  Your child will share lots of adventures with Katie, as she steps in and out of the paintings she and her grandmother encounter.  Each book ends with information about the artists that are highlighted.  (others in this series:  Katie and the Mona Lisa; Katie's Picture Show; Katie and the Spanish Princess; Katie's Sunday Afternoon; Katie and the British Artists; Katie and the Sunflowers.)

Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters , by MaryAnn F. Kohl, Kim Solga.
Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Are Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters by MaryAnn F. Kohl, Kim Solga.
Storybook Art: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of 100 Great Picture Book Illustrators by MaryAnn F. Kohl, Jean Potter.
Primary Art: It's the Process, Not the Product, by MaryAnn F. Kohl.
Preschool Art: It's the Process, Not the Product, by MaryAnn F. Kohl.
First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos, by MaryAnn F. Kohl, Renee F. Ramsey, Dana Bowman, Katheryn Davis.
(Click here for MaryAnn's website, where you'll find her blog and several of her favorite links to other blogs about art projects for kids.)
Drawing with Children, by Mona Brookes.  This book will teach your children to draw what they actually see, not what they think something should look like!  For parents and teachers who want to help their children develop spatial awareness, see lines and shapes, and build artistic skills.  It's like having an art tutor... in a book.  (My kids and I had great results with this helpful teaching tool.)

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso


  1. Thank you so much for listing so many of my books. I hope they bring much pleasure to the children of your readers. I wanted to invite your readers to visit my website where they can get free ideas from each of my books, including the great masters books
    Go to: http://www.brightring.com
    Also, my blog is a mixture of art ideas and other treasures of childhood.
    I love reading about all the books on your blog.

    Thank you,
    MaryAnn Kohl, art author

  2. Thank you for sharing, MaryAnn! I know lots of parents, teachers, and homeschoolers that will appreciate your website and blog, as well as your books. :)