Now that the school year has started, we all need to remember to set aside some time for creativity! Creating and exploring new ideas is what drives our society, and artists have the incredible opportunity to share their voices and perspectives with the world in a way that lets people connect on a deeper level. Explore the list of books below to learn about some amazing artwork and artists as well as how art has the power to change the world.
To find more books about the amazing art in our world, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “art,” “artists,” “painting,” “painters,” or a particular artist or style of art you want to learn more about. Many nonfiction books about art can be found in the 700 call number range.
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin. 2013 (Biography: picture book)
From the time he was a little boy, Horace Pippin loved to draw. That love and his skill continued to grow throughout his life, but after he was injured in World War II, he had to relearn how to draw with his left hand supporting his right. Quotes from Pippin in the beautifully detailed and childlike illustrations make his feelings and art come alive. Short, simple sentences with a relatable main character will draw young readers in, and they will be inspired by his strength and determination to do what he loved.
[S-Collection Q. SB. P665b]
Edward Hopper Paints His World. 2014 (Biography: picture book)
When Edward Hopper was a child, he decided that he would be an artist one day. It was a long and often lonely road, but he never stopped working towards his goal. The detailed and beautifully created illustrations on each page lend clarity to what Hopper’s mission as an artist was: to draw what moved him. With an afterword, descriptions of some of his famous paintings, a timeline, and more, this biography delves into Edward Hopper’s life and makes him accessible to young readers.
[S-Collection Q. SB. H798b]
Campoy, F. Isabel.
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood. 2016 (Picture book: based on a true story)
Mira loved to draw and color and gave away her artwork to everyone she saw, making her city a little less gray, but she was only one person. One day, however, a man came to town and started creating a mural, eventually inviting the whole neighborhood to join in and help make something beautiful. The vibrant colors leap off the page and readers will love to see what happens when a community comes together.
[S-Collection Q. SE. C158m]
Harvey, Jeanne Walker.
Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines. 2017 (Picture book: biography)
This beautiful picture book tells the story of Maya Lin, the artist-architect who created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with many other structures and spaces. Growing up, Maya learned to see the art and beauty in the spaces around her and wanted others to see it as well, so she studied architecture. Readers will love being able to explore her creations in the detailed illustrations and be a part of her art – just like Maya Lin wants.
[S-Collection Q. SB. L735h]
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers. 2017 (Nonfiction: biography, chapter book)
The author paints the world of Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo with a beautiful and intimate storytelling that lets readers delve into their lives. Based on the 658 letters that Vincent wrote to Theo throughout his life, this in-depth novel is the winner of the 2018 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award. Reading this book is like a painting – you stand aloof from it, yet still feel intimately attached to the emotions that are portrayed – and readers will want to savor the experience.
[S-Collection S.759.9492 H3636v]
Hicks, Deron R.
The Van Gogh Deception. 2017 (Fiction: chapter book)
Found at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. in front of a Degas sculpture, a boy can’t remember who he is or where he came from. As he works to discover his identity, he races against time to put together the clues of his origins with the facts he somehow knows about artists in order to stop one of the most daring art frauds in history. This exciting adventure book will keep readers on the edge of their seats and have them exploring art with the QR codes interspersed throughout the text.
[S-Collection S. H5293v]
The Story of Paintings: A History of Art for Children. 2017 (Nonfiction)
With a narrative voice, this large format nonfiction book tells the history of art, hitting the highlights throughout the ages – from the Lascaux Cave Paintings to The Starry Night and all the way to Jean-Michel Basquiat. Depictions of various pieces of artwork are on every page, along with easy to understand summaries and fun cartoons with captions and amusing thought bubbles. Inquisitive minds will love this introduction to some of the most famous art and will want to learn more!
[S-Collection Q. S.709 M316s]
MacKnight, Wendy McLeod.
The Frame-Up. 2018 (Fiction: chapter book)
At the Beaverbrook Gallery, the one rule you must follow is not letting anyone know that the paintings are alive, and Mona Dunn just broke it. One day Sargent Singer, the son of the gallery owner, discovers her secret, and they must work together in order to do some sleuthing in order to save the gallery from a potential art heist. Adventure and fantasy abound in this novel, and readers will enjoy delving into their imaginations and exploring the world hidden behind the frame.
[S-Collection S. M2182f]
Newbold, Amy and Greg.
If Picasso Painted a Snowman. 2017 (Nonfiction: picture book)
Fun and whimsical, this picture book follows the “what if” scenario to explore how different artists would have painted a snowman. This simple concept lets children see the styles of various artists without being didactic along with a not-so-subtle nod to the adults in the room with playful versions of famous paintings such as “The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí” (melting clocks) and “American Gothic House” by Grant Wood (the farmer holding a pitchfork with his wife/daughter).
[S-Collection S.709 N425i]
Mystery on Museum Mile (Eddie Red Undercover #1). 2014 (Fiction: chapter book)
Edmund Xaxier Lonnrot, better known by his codename Eddie Red, is thrust into the case of a lifetime when his special skills are needed. With a photographic memory and the ability to draw whatever he sees, the NYPD needs the sixth grader’s talents in order to track down the dangerous group The Picasso Gang before they get away with the art theft of the century. Full of puzzles, fun, and art, this book is a page turner and exciting adventure for readers of all ages.
Be sure to look for Mystery in Mayan Mexico #2 (S. W46272my) and Doom at Grant’s Tomb #3 (S. W46272d) also found in the S-Collection!
[S-Collection S. W46272m]