What to Read: Edgar Degas Books for Kids

We’ve recently been learning about the life and legacy of impressionist Edgar Degas. Some of that time has been spent studying his artwork and recreating some of his most well-known pieces, but we’ve also spent lots of time enjoying some wonderful Edgar Degas books for children.

What to Read: Edgar Degas Books for Kids

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In our search for books about Degas, we found some that were fun picture books, some that were focused on the art of Degas, and some that were a good mix of both. We also found several that were better for younger kids and some that were a better match for older students.

Regardless of what you’re looking for, I’m happy to share our list of kid-friendly Edgar Degas books with you today.

Edgar Degas Books for Kids

1. Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Degas

Edgar Degas from Mike Venezia’s Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series is a great place to start if you’re looking for Edgar Degas books for your homeschool. It contains a great mix of Degas reproductions, maps, timelines, and biographical information, but presents it all in a fun and engaging way.


2. Degas and the Little Dancer

My little one and I love Laurence Anholt’s Degas and the Little Dancer. It’s a lovely picture book that explains how Degas’ beloved sculpture of The Little Dancer came to be.


3. Chasing Degas

If you’re looking for another picture book about Degas, Chasing Degas by Eva Montanari is a great one to consider. It’s about a ballet student and her hunt for Degas after he accidentally leaves the studio with her bag instead of his bag of paints.


4. Edgar Degas: Paintings that Dance

Like all of the books from the Smart About Art series, Edgar Degas: Paintings That Dance is a fun way to learn about Degas through a child’s perspective. It includes illustrations, biographical information, and photographs of Degas’ work, but the book itself is formatted and written as if it were a child’s class report on the famous impressionist.


5. What Degas Saw

Ever wonder what inspired Degas to focus on the real-life moments around him as he created instead of the staged scenes that many artists preferred? From the streets of Paris to behind the scenes at the ballet studio, What Degas Saw by Samantha Friedman shares a glimpse of the world as Degas saw it.


6. What Makes a Degas a Degas?

What Makes a Degas a Degas? is one of my favorite Edgar Degas books for older kids and even middle schoolers. We found it at our local library and enjoyed using it for our Degas study. It highlights 12 works from Degas and points out the common style, themes, and composition among them.


7. Dancing with Degas

Dancing with Degas from the Mini Masters series is a great reading choice for little learners! Since it’s a board book, it’s sturdier than other Degas books and, since it pairs reproductions from Degas with short, lyrical text, it’s easy on shorter attention spans. That combination makes it a great way to introduce kids to Edgar Degas!


8. Invitation to Ballet: A Celebration of Dance and Degas

I always love the books from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Invitation to Ballet is no exception. Rather than focus on all of Degas’ artwork, it highlights Degas and his most loved dance-inspired pieces. Also worth noting, it includes a biography on Degas, as well illustrations from Rachel Isadora and reproductions of Degas’ work.


9. A Day with Degas

The comic-style illustrations in A Day with Degas make it a fun and unique way to learn about Edgar Degas with your kids. It tells the story of a young girl being coached by the master artist as she works on capturing movement through art.


10. Marie in Fourth Position

Last, but not least, Marie in Fourth Position is another fun picture book that spotlights Degas’ The Little Dancer. While the story itself is fictionalized, some insight about Marie, the inspiration behind the sculpture, is included at the end.



Looking for more reading suggestions on the world’s greatest artists? Don’t miss these:

2 thoughts on “What to Read: Edgar Degas Books for Kids

  1. Great list of children’s books pertaining to Degas. My daughters love his ballerina pastels. I am not sure if any of your readers are in the Denver Colorado area, but Denver Art Musem is running an exhibit on Degas now through May. I have not had a chance to take my kids to the exhibit yet. I will have to check out some of these books and read to my girls before taking them to see his work.

    1. I would love to get to an exhibit of his! I’m so happy to hear you’ll be able to see his work in person with your family! 🙂

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