I have never met a child that didn’t enjoy art! As someone who both studied art in college and has taught art classes to kids as young as 3, I am confident in saying the 3-year-olds have more creativity than anyone else on the planet. And after reading some of these adorably art-y picture books, you and your little artist will want to harness that sparkly creative energy and be running (not walking) to your nearest craft store!
Illustrated by Evan Turk
Colors are an important creative consideration to any visual artist, be they 1 year old or 100 years old! Be prepared to fall head-over-heels in love with this vibrant story that highlights the beauty found in each and every color.
Red, big / red, small / Red sits on my garden wall. / Blue, low / blue, high / Blue has taken to the sky….
This tender and stirring read aloud uses the beauty of birds to invite readers to observe primary and secondary colors. With lyrical rhyme and striking pastel artwork by rising star-illustrator Evan Turk, Color the Sky masterfully captures childlike curiosity, wonder, and joy. Not only does it beckon readers to answer the call of exploring the outdoors, it encourages children to embrace the differences within themselves and the world around them.
Illustrated by Corinna Luyken
Our creativity can heal just as much as our words can damage. As someone who has had a very similar experience to the one in Something Good, seeing the large sign painted by the local elementary school hanging above the door to the JCC where I worked made me feel so much braver going in the next day.
This kind of thing won't be tolerated at our school, the principal declares the day the "bad-something" is discovered written on a wall. The incident makes the kids nervous, giggly, and curious at first, but then they're worried, confused, sad and angry. Everyone is suspicious. Who did it, and why? They miss the days before the bad-something appeared, because everything—and everyone—feels different now. It takes a lot of talking, listening, looking, and creating something good together to find a way to heal. The story acknowledges that while the scars of such incidents remain, it is possible to teach tolerance and feel true community once again.
Written and illustrated by the acclaimed creators of Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse!, here is a brave book about the power of words that tackles one of the most difficult topics for elementary school-aged children—hate speech—in a direct, realistic, and empathetic manner.
by Peter Brown
Art takes many different forms—including *fashion*! My dad travels a lot for work, so when I was little and he was home, we made the most of every minute. One of my favorite board games to play with him was Pretty, Pretty Princess. There was nothing more squeal-worthy than my dad rocking clip-on rhinestone earrings.
The boy loves to be naked. He romps around his house naked and wild and free. Until he romps into his parents' closet and is inspired to get dressed. First he tries on his dad's clothes, but they don't fit well. Then he tries on his mom's clothes, and wow! The boy looks great. He looks through his mom's jewelry and makeup and tries that on, too. When he's discovered by his mother and father, the whole family (including the dog!) get in on the fun, and they all get dressed together.
This charming and humorous story was inspired by bestselling and award-winning author Peter Brown's own childhood, and highlights nontraditional gender roles and self-expression.
Pull out your chalk! By the end of this prehistoric story, you and your cave child will be ready to try your hand at drawing on the walls! (Pssst… I recommend taping up some paper first.)
Imagine you were born before the invention of drawing, more than thirty thousand years ago.
You would live with your whole family in a cave and see woolly mammoths walk by!
You might even see images of animals hidden in the shapes of clouds and rocks.
You would want to share these pictures with your family, but wouldn’t know how.
Who would have made the world’s first drawing? Would it have been you?
In The First Drawing, Caldecott Medal winner Mordicai Gerstein imagines the discovery of drawing…and inspires the young dreamers and artists of today.
by Avery Monsen
Illustrated by Abby Hanlon
Just like poor Chester, every artist can understand the frustration of having a creative block. How infuriating!
There once was a youngster named Chester van Chime
Who woke up one day and forgot how to rhyme.
Chester loved rhyming, in poem or song.
It always felt right, but today it felt…not right. VERY not right.
Chester van Chime is usually the BEST at rhyming. He can normally tell you all about cats wearing hats and snails delivering mail, but today, something has changed. Today there's no dog on a log. No duck in a truck. Just a Pomeranian on a sideways tree and a waterfowl in a full-size pickup. What's a kid to do?!
Filled with irresistible wordplay and whimsically silly illustrations, bestselling creators Avery Monsen and Abby Hanlon's read aloud tells the story of a boy who learns not to be stressed if he's not at his…tippy-top peak performance.
by Ed Emberley
Illustrated by Ed Emberley
As a kid my bookshelf was packed with how-to-draw books! And there was nothing better than a step-by-step guide that encouraged just the teeeeeniest bit of mess. If you and your little artist enjoy creating hands-on experiences together, this drawing book makes for the perfect rainy day activity.
Using fingerprints and a few dots, scribbles, and lines, Ed Emberley shows would-be artists how to make all sorts of pictures, inlcuding frogs, trains, flowers, clowns, dragons, and more! This classic book is packed with fun things that kids-and many adults-really want to create. Easy and fun, the book provides hours of art-full fun.
Please excuse my drooling over this collection of tear-out-able prints. Vashti Harrison’s gorgeously whimsical illustrations paired with mini bios of inspiring historical women will have any budding artist reaching for their favorite drawing medium.
This inspiring book of prints features twenty celebrations of world-changing women. Vashti Harrison’s beloved illustrations of historical figures — scientists, activists, artists, and more — are the perfect gift for today’s young leaders.
Teach your artistic perfectionist to embrace their mistakes! As a former art student myself, I had to learn that you can’t quit when you’re feeling low. Quitting is the only way to guarantee you’ll never improve!
After an inspiring visit to the local art museum, Raven Rembrandt is eager to create her own beautiful masterpieces. But the only thing she can seem to draw are ugly doodles — and they won’t go away, no matter how hard she tries to discard them! After a few increasingly inventive attempts to get rid of them, Raven realizes that the only way to learn to love her art is to just create.
Valeria Wicker’s endearing and quirky art style adds humor to her sweet and whimsical story about overcoming a fear of imperfection and failure.
by Greg Pizzoli
For your kid who is beginning the transition into chapter books, Greg Pizzoli’s Baloney and Friends series will have them both giggling and drawing their own comics!
Meet Baloney! He's the star of this book, along with his best buddies: empathetic Peanut the horse, sensible Bizz the bumblebee, and grumpy Krabbit—he'd rather not be here, but what can you do?
In this graphic novel for newly independent readers, Baloney and friends step into the spotlight and embody all the charm of childhood in three short tales and three mini-comics that invite readers to join the fun! Giggle with Baloney as he performs some questionable magic, give him a boost when a case of the blues gets him down, cheer him on as he braves the swimming pool, and at the end, learn to draw all the characters with clear step-by-step instructions!