Both of my kids love learning about art and experimenting with it. Unfortunately, the five-year age difference between them makes it tough to teach the same art concepts to both. That’s why I had to get creative about introducing famous artists to each of them.
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That’s no reason for her to miss out on artist study, though! Instead, I’m introducing famous artists to her through picture books. That will give her the chance to meet the master artists on her level and have fun in the process.
Here’s a look at the picture books I’ve found for introducing famous artists.
10 Picture Books for
Introducing Famous Artists
1. Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail by Laurence Anholt – This title from Anholt’s Artists Books for Children series introduces famous cubist Pablo Picasso through a delightful story combined with vivid illustrations and reproductions from Picasso himself.
2. Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Paintings That Smile by True Kelley – Like the other books from the Smart About Art series, Paintings That Smile is a different kind of picture book: it’s a great presentation of Renoir through a child’s eyes. I’m so excited about this one!
3. Vincent’s Colors by Vincent van Gogh and the Metropolitan Museum of Art – This isn’t your typical picture book, but it’s super cool. It combines van Gogh’s incredible art with excerpts from letters he wrote to his brother used as captions. These excerpts definitely show a lesser-known side of van Gogh, which is a pretty cool thing.
4. Katie and the Waterlily Pond by James Mayhew – Katie’s Picture Show is an adorable series for introducing famous artists to kids. Much like Katie Meets the Impressionists, this book introduces the incredible work of Claude Monet through the adventures of a fun little girl.
5. The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock – One of the coolest things about Wassily Kandinsky is the way he could express sounds and feelings through his abstract art. The Noisy Paint Box showcases his story and his art in perfect picture book style.
6. Through Georgia’s Eyes by Rachel Victoria Rodriguez – Through Georgia’s Eyes is a perfect way to introduce children to the life and work of Georgia O’Keeffe. The text is short but informative in this one, leaving the beautiful illustrations do most of the work.
7. Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter – It’s easy to look at the works of master artists and feel intimidated by the complexity of it all. That’s not the case with Henri’s Scissors.
What I love about this book on Henri Matisse is that it focuses on artist style that’s comfortable for most kids. It highlights a season of Matisse’s life when he chose to create differently when many would have given up art altogether.
8. Sunday with Seurat by Julie Merberg – I love the simple combination of Seurat’s art and melodic text in this book. It’s a great resource for introducing this famous impressionist to the youngest of children!
9. Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh – This book is a great choice for introducing Diego Rivera, whose art often stirred controversy. His World and Ours shares the story of Rivera and the sights and experiences that inspired his art with kid-friendly perspective.
10. Action Jackson by Jan Greenberg – This one is a fun look at the processes of Jackson Pollock, the American artist best known for trading in his easel and palette and opting to create with paint cans and canvases on the floor.
If you’d like more help with introducing famous artists to younger kids, check out Mike Venezia’s Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series. There’s tons of great information there!
You’ll also want to take a look at my breakdown of Creative Galaxy, an original show from Amazon Prime.
It’s your turn now! What are your favorite picture books for introducing famous artists to children? I’d love to see your suggestions in the comments.
Looking for more must-read books? Stop by iHomeschool Network and take a look: