Art Books: Great New Finds

In a summer many of us get to spend more time with our kids, and, often, try out new activities. So, why not introduce your child to fine art? Visit local museum or exhibition. Look together at famous paintings. Watch a kid-friendly show about an artist on a YouTube. And, the simplest thing of all, get a book about art and artists.

I love browsing children’s books about art in libraries, on Amazon, or at book stores. One can find real treasures! Some books use very creative approaches introducing art to children. I wrote about a few of my favorite art books and book series in a past (see my blogs, like Introduce Your Child to Fine Art on Your Own! or Stories About Great Artists.)
This summer I came across a few new (for me) kids’ art books that are unusual and fun. Below are four such books.

This is a delightful book with simple ideas that will encourage your young artist to notice and create art everywhere. It also broadens our thinking about children’s art: it can be made anywhere; it doesn’t have to be taken home and attached to a fridge; it doesn’t have to be perfect. All you need is your imagination. In fact, a sandcastle your child is building on the beach is just an example of such art (this is my thought inspired by the book.) For ages 4-7.

A great book about power of human creativity and imagination. Based on life of Nek Chand who created a secret garden on the edge of the colorless city. Nek used thrown away materials, like broken pottery and metal items, among others. The book is recommended for readers ages 7-10, but most of it could be read to younger children. It could be used as a starter for discussion about upcycling and creativity. I would also pair this book with open-end art project using recycling materials. And don’t forget to check out photographs of Nek Chand’s garden online (the book has only one, unfortunately.)

What if you are about to move to a new house? What if it has been designed by famous architect, Gaudi, specifically for your family? Fun story full of imaginary interactions between Gaudi and Carmen Batlló for whose family Gaudi built famous Casa Batlló. The story is very engaging and could be used as introduction to Gaudi’s architecture. The book has a good photo of Casa Batlló. Recommended for ages K-2nd grade.

This book is part of series How Artists See… It presents children with paintings and sculptures each accompanied by a short story and questions that are designed to evoke their curiosity about the situations depicted by each artist. It chooses topics that kids are very familiar with: spending time with your family members. That makes artworks very relatable and engaging. The book is recommended for ages 6-8, but I would not hesitate to use it with 4 and 5-year-olds.

I suggest you first check your library for these books. I also hope you and your kids have fun flipping through them this summer.

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