10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

My arty daughter helped me create two arty gift guides for kids. This is the first one: 10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids. I basically collected the art books over the past few years that my daughter and son enjoy. Grasshopper and Sensei also created a list of art supplies for VERY SERIOUS arty kids that I will be posting on soon.

I accumulated this list of 10 arty books for kids. I have picture books for arty kids here: Top 10 Best Books for Young Artists. I also have a gift guide for Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading.

p.s. More Art Gift Ideas for Kids here:

Art Activity Books

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my daughter

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

Learn about Art History, Illustrators and Illustration

Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of Art by Michael Bird, illustrated by Kate Evans

This is a beautiful art history book with works by major artists and really interesting stories about their lives, with particular detail to the work featured. If you want one art history tome for you kids, use this one. Enjoy it cover to cover, or just flipping around as the art catches your eye.  [art history chapter book, ages 6 and up]

Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children by Eric Carle and the Eric Carle Museum

Renowned illustrators —  Mitsumasa Anno, Quentin Blake, Ashley Bryan, Nancy Ekholm Burkert, Eric Carle, Tomie dePaola, Jane Dyer, Mordicai Gerstein, Robert Ingpen, Steven Kellogg, Leo Lionni, Petra Mathers, Wendell Minor, Barry Moser, Jerry Pinkney, Alice Provenson, Robert Sabuda, Matthew Reinhart, Maurice Sendak, Gennady Spirin, Chris Van Allsburg, Rosemary Wells, and Paul O. Zelinsky — share their illustration process, their advice and a glimpe into their studio with children. They take the mystery out of what it takes to become a picture book illustrator/author in this beautiful child-friendly anthology. [nonfiction anthology, ages 5 and up]

Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang

Caldecott honor illustrator and author Molly Bang breaks down how to show emotions through simple shapes. This is a book for anyone interested in illustration, from professionals to students studying illustration. [art drawing theory nonfiction book, ages 15 and up]

Fun Arty Books to Get Kids Drawing

Tangle Art & Drawing Games for Kids by Jeanette Nyberg

My blogger friend Jeanette from Craftwhack has  this wonderful book with 46 drawing games for kids. Her open ended drawing games are fun and provide structure for kids to do themselves, with friends, and with the entire family. From drawing to mixed media, she has activities that can be done over and over again, making this a creativity drawing book to take on the road, in the restaurants, or when you want the screens turned off. [art activity book, ages 4 and up]

Dream It! Draw It! Think It! Do It!: Activities to Ignite Creativity by Courtney Watkins

This is like a Klutz book in that each page is an assignment with space to draw and doodle; sketchbook diary style. The topics include drawing and writing assignments like slam poetry, decoding, and creating a creature from a kitchen utensil. It’s fun stuff for the kid who likes a challenge and wants to scribble in a book. This book would appeal to girls in particular. [activity book, ages 6 and up]

Draw Like an Artist: A Self-Portrait Sketchbook by Patricia Geis

Using famous self-portraits by artists including Dürer, Frida Kahlo, Mondrian, Picasso, Van Gogh, and others, this book has the reader sketching a self portrait side by side of each master’s work. Readers who will enjoy this drawing challenge will thrive on emulating the masters and won’t be afraid to jump right in. [art history book with drawing pages, ages 6 and up]

The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw by Mark Crilley

This is a graphic novel that covers the principals of drawing from perspective to shading and everything in between. It’s a great learning tool for kids who like to read graphic novels, but the story is really based more around learning how to draw. [graphic novel, ages 8 and up]

The Pursuit of the Pizza Pirate (Doodle Adventures) by Mike Lowery

This is a fun concept: it’s a graphic novel where the reader draws part of the story, filling in the blanks on each page. With Carl the duck as narrator and reader armed with a pencil, embark on a mystery adventure to figure out who is stealing all the pizza in town.  This series appeals particularly to boys. [graphic novel that you draw in, ages 6 and up]

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith

For kids who like subversive drawing instructions, try this drawing journal that encourages destruction in creating art! For the rebellious artist in all of us! Try one or buy the set. [drawing journal, ages 6 and up]

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay for postage and handling for my giveaways.


p.s. More about Art Colleges from our college tours:

RISD Pre-College Program

Visiting Emily Carr Art + Design University in Canada

Visiting Pratt

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)

Top Art and Design Colleges

Applying to Art School: School of Visual Arts

Visiting West Coast Art Schools & Foodie Stops Nearby

Applying to RISD: Advice from Antonio Peters in Admissions

Tips for National Portfolio Day


and some fun stuff …

If you are visiting New York City, here are our cheap foodie finds.

Our NYC (Cheap) Foodie Finds

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids (by my arty daughter)

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Best Toys for Arty Kids

An Arts Studio of One’s Own

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. These look great!! Thanks so much, Mia!

  2. These all look fabulous. We’ve never read (or even heard of) these.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Through the TreesMy Profile

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