It’s holiday time! In case you’re wondering what to get for the artist in your life, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite art books for kids that would make great gifts this holiday season. We know kids love creating art and getting messy, and these books can help to inspire kids to use their imaginations and to expand the types of art they create. 

Mix It Up!
Herve Tullet

This is a fun interactive book showing kids what happens when you mix colors together. The kids get excited to see what happens from one page to the next as they squish the pages together, and combine colors. This book will have you wanting to break out the finger paints to mix it up for real!

Henri’s Scissors
Jeanette Winter

This book tells the story of Henri Matisse- starting with his childhood through his life as an artist. We love the colorful illustrations in this book, and how it shows that art isn’t just created through painting- Matisse used scissors and paper to create many of his masterpieces.

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art
Barb Rosenstock

This is another biographical book on artist Vasya Kandinsky. When creating his artwork, people expected him to paint houses and flowers, and things they could see and identify. He wasn’t happy painting this way- he wanted to paint the colors as he heard them- swirling and vibrant! It has a great message encouraging artists to paint what they feel and to follow their dreams.

Ish (Creatrilogy)
Peter H. Reynolds

This is a great book for those who get discouraged when creating, thinking their artwork isn’t perfect, or good enough. Ramon loves drawing, but is discouraged one day after his brother laughs at one of his drawings. His sister sees things differently and encourages Ramon to keep creating.

Beautiful Oops!
Barney Saltzberg

We hear it in our classes all the time “I messed up” or “I made a mistake”. We love teaching the kids that there are no mistakes in art! This is a fun interactive book showing the kids that sometimes a “mistake” can lead to an exciting new discovery.

The Day the Crayons Quit
Drew Daywalt

This book uses humor to show that when creating art, it’s ok to think outside the box. Dunan is a little boy who loves to color, but his crayons go on strike. They write letters to Duncan letting him know how they are feeling. We love seeing the personalities of the different colors brought to life. This is a fun book to read- the kids are engaged and adults can also find the humor in it and relate to the story.

Kathryn Otoshi

This is probably my favorite book to read to our students. It is a fairly simple book about colors and counting that the younger kids love and it has a deep message about bullying that the older kids understand. Blue gets picked on by Red- who is a “hothead”, and the other colors standby and do nothing to stand up for Blue. Until one day when One comes. One stands up to Red and gives Blue the courage to do the same. Then the other colors stick up for Blue as well, and encourage Red to join the group. It emphasizes that “sometimes it takes just one” to make a difference.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these great books for the young artist in your life, the book titles and images link directly to Amazon.