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+
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+
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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