Thursday, September 10, 2015

Our Favorite Art Books


One of my priorities in educating my children is to instill in them a love of both truth and beauty. And part of that is exposing them to beautiful works of art... as early and often as possible. Believe it or not, there are tons of excellent titles for small children that introduce them to the works of great artists. We've read quite a few of the titles, and these are some of the best.

Mini Masters Series by Julie Merberg and Suzanna Bober. These board books each feature one artist, placing pictures of their famous works next to sweetly rhymed text, framing simple stories. For the very earliest of readers, but older kids still enjoy looking at the paintings. We personally own this set of four, but my mother {an avid art lover and artist herself} owns the entire series- each book is exquisite. Titles include Quiet Time with Cassatt, Sharing with Renoir, Painting with Picasso, and On an Island with Gauguin.


Andy Warhol's Colors by Susan Goldman Rubin. Another bright and fun board book, perfect for a colorful baby shower gift.

Anholt's Artists Series by Laurence Anholt. These charming picture books are for older preschoolers. Individual titles shadow children who knew famous artists, and tell a little story {fictional, but based in fact} about their interaction with the artist. The original illustrations somewhat imitate the artists style, and of course pictures of their actual works are included. The back cover displays a picture of the artist and a small biography. While your child might not sit through the reading of the bio, moms can sure enjoy learning more about great artists ;). We've read and enjoyed Cezanne and the Apple Boy, The Magical Garden of Claude Monet, Matisse the King of Color. But there are many more titles in the series that we look forward to checking out from the library!


Art Detective: Spot the Difference! by Doris Kutschbach and Julia Durr. This book is SO fun! An adorable canine art detective is trying to track down a paint forger. Each page has the famous painting with a "forgery" across from it. The reader's job is to spot 15 or more differences between the two. It's a classic spot the difference game, with the added benefit of time spent studying classic paintings in a wide variety of styles. My sister got it for S in the last year, and she and I have both had a blast trying to find all of the differences. We keep coming back to it, and it never wears out or becomes tiresome- too many endless searching possibilities.

Wondering where to find more great art books for kids? Check out art museum gift shops! My sister also purchased two books from the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston for our kids. One is called Journeys, and it focuses on international pieces from the Museum's collection, organized by the artworks' location of origin. The other is called Colors, and each page has one of the Museum's paintings and a color, often obscure, named next to it- including shades such as vermilion red, sienna earth, maize yellow, ultramarine blue, and mauve. I love that my kids can enjoy the paintings as well as learn more detail color names and descriptive language. I would bet that many art museums have books for children featuring their collections.


The links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through your library. Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

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