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7 Great Books to Inspire the Young Artist in Your Life

Written By: Elliott Ro |

It's never to early to start learning about and appreciating art. In fact, some of the most creative and imaginative compositions we come across are created by young ones.  We think it is important to start nurturing this creativity from a young age and encouraging the young ones in our lives to look at the world in a fresh way that allows them to see all of the creative possibilities. While nothing beats hands-on activities and visits to see local art and events, luckily there are also many great new books out there that can help to spark a bit of a creative flame in kids of all ages. (You just might want to buy a copy for yourself!)

We're All Works of Art by Rose Blake & Mark Sperring 

Our bodies might all differ in shape, and form, and frame, but think how dull the world would be if we were all the same... Celebrate difference and diversity with this wonderful and beautiful book that tells children it s OK to be different in fact it s perfect to be different. Told from the perspective of works of art, the book illustrates different styles and movements and demonstrates that there is no single masterpiece in galleries, or with people we re all works of art in our own special way. Illustrated by the artist Rose Blake, and packed with different types of art on every page, the book also includes a handy beginners' guide to the various styles of art - from prehistoric to cubist, ancient Egyptian to contemporary. Written by bestselling author, Mark Sperring, the text is lyrical, funny and perfect for reading aloud. Don't forget - we are all works of art. Every one of us is an original!

Henri's Scissors by Jeanette Winter

This charming book was based on the life of Henri Matisse, this moving and inspirational picture book biography from Matisse himself, and an illuminating look at a little-known part of a great artist’s creative process. In a small weaving town in France, a young boy named Henri-Emile Matisse drew pictures everywhere, and when he grew up, he moved to Paris and became a famous artist who created paintings that were adored around the world. But late in life a serious illness confined him to a wheelchair, and amazingly, it was from there that he created among his most beloved works—enormous and breathtaking paper cutouts. An inspiring reminder to all of us that there is no right time in life to be creative. 

Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity! by Sarah Suzuki and Ellen Weinstein 

This book shares the story of iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama who grew up dreaming of becoming an artist. One day, she had a vision in which the world and everything in it—the plants, the people, the sky—were covered in polka dots. She began to cover her paintings, drawings, sculptures, and even her body with dots. As she grew up, she traveled all around the world, from Tokyo to Seattle, New York to Venice, and brought her dots with her. Every year, Kusama sees more of the world, covering it with dots and offering people a way to experience it the way she does. Written by Sarah Suzuki, a curator at The Museum of Modern Art, and featuring reproductions of Kusama’s instantly recognizable artworks, this colorful book tells the story of an artist whose work will not be complete until her dots cover the world, from here to infinity.

My Museum by Joanne Liu

A young boy learns that art is all around us in this captivating picture book about a day at the museum. We all remember what it was like to be a child in a crowded art museum. It was hard to see, let alone appreciate the art. It got tiring. And there was so much else to look at! That’s the lesson of this ingeniously simple yet profound book about art. It is everywhere—from another visitor’s elaborate tattoos to the way the sun makes patterns of light on the floor. While other visitors are busy trying to find their way through the museum’s galleries, or fighting for room to view a masterpiece, our hero examines the gallery upside down from a bench, plays with his shadow, and makes friends with the custodian. With a wink and a nod to serious museum-goers everywhere, Joanne Liu’s whimsical illustrations remind us that sometimes the best kind of art is the kind you make yourself.

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos by Monica Brown and John Parra

This playful title tells the story of the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and the animals that inspired her art and life.The story recounts Frida's beloved pets—two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn—and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal. 

This is Rome, This Paris by Miroslav Sasek 

This iconic children's book series by the famous Czech painter Miroslav Sasek gives guided tours of big cities such as New York, Paris, Rome, and London. Sharing their famous buildings, museums, and landmarks as well as charming details about life in these cities and their inhabitants. These can be a great way to explore the world through reading with little ones or even to prepare for a trip to these destinations. 

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