7 Books to Encourage Your Young Artist

Here is a list of books to encourage your young artist: two books with sage advice, two books to encourage your child to draw and doodle, two books to teach your child to mix paints, and the best book of children’s art projects ever!

Ish by Peter H. Reynolds. A young boy, Ramon, is initially discouraged by his older brother’s comment that Ramon’s drawing of a vase does not look like a vase. With encouragement, Ramon discovers that creating art that looks “ish” (as in “vase-ish”) is much more satisfying that trying to create art that looks “right.” Ages 3+

The Art Lesson by Tomie De Paola. In this autobiography, Young Tommy is initially frustrated when his elementary art teachers ask him to copy the pictures they have drawn and provide only limited art supplies. Young Tommy is determined to follow his aunts’ advice to draw original art and to practice, practice, practice. In the end, Young Tommy grows up to be a real artist and perhaps an inspiration to your young artist. Ages 4+

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. A delightful story about a young boy whose imagination and purple crayon take him on an extraordinary adventure. Ages 3+


Art by Patrick McDonnell. An enthusiastic rhyme about a young boy who loves to draw. While lacking the engaging storyline of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Art more explicitly encourages children to draw zig zags, squiggles, curly cues, and more. Ages 2+

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. A little story about three mice who paint. Mouse Paint teaches children about mixing primary colors to make secondary colors. Ages 2+

Color Dance by Ann Jonas. One of my 3-year-old daughter’s favorite books. Like Mouse Paint, Color Dance teaches children about mixing colors. Dancers with colored scarves show children what happens when red, yellow, blue, white, grey, and black are mixed together. Ages 3+

Scribble Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl. I am going to go out on a limb and claim that this is the best source of children’s art projects ever! Children will have a fine opportunity to express themselves artistically if they are simply given crayons, paints, and paper. However, if you are interested in doing more, this book is an excellent resource. Scribble Artoffers many great collage, drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, and craft projects. Author MaryAnn Kohl encourages parents and teachers to let children experiment with different medium, enjoy the process of making art, and not strive to achieve a predetermined final product.

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This entry was posted in Ages 2+, Ages 3+, Ages 4+, Ages 5+, Ages 6+, Ages 7+, Ages 8+ and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 7 Books to Encourage Your Young Artist

  1. KKJ's Mama says:

    What about I Am An Artist by Pat Lowery Collins & Robin Brickman? While it’s a bit abstract for very young readers, the concept of the artist in everyone is such a nice message and beautifully presented. My 3 enjoy reading it and choose it often.

  2. Amy says:

    It’s so neat to hear from you! We really love your book! We have a special art project box in our house for art projects that require some supervision. Every couple of weeks, I choose a new project from your book to have available for the kids.

  3. Thank you so much for honoring me with your book review of “Scribble Art”. 2010 is my 25th anniversary and Scribble Art was my first book. I’ve now written 23 books of art ideas, and do you know, Scribble Art is still my favorite? It does everything you will ever need for your child’s artistic explorations. So easy, so simple, so necessary. Thank you once again.

    ~ MaryAnn Kohl,
    art book author
    PS Free art ideas from my books are on my website: http://www.brightring.com

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