Youth Art Month

For this month’s blog, we are promoting youth creativity and the inner artist inside us all! The month of March marks the recognition and promotion of Youth Art, an annual event administered by the Council for Art Education. In this March blog we highlight creativity, imagination, and expression in art through fiction books. The month of March encourages the widespread adoption of visual arts. Read along with us as we display graphic novels, picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction books where we will celebrate the arts!

Baer, Marianna
Wolfwood. 2023. Young Adult.
Wolfwood follows Indigo and her mother, the once famous artist Zoe Serra. Indigo’s mother suffered a mental breakdown and ever since then they have been barely scraping by in life. When a gallery offers Zoe a revival show for her blockbuster series Wolfwood, Indigo knows it is their chance to be financially stable again. However, Zoe refuses to continue painting Wolfwood, which leads to Indigo secretly taking up the paintbrush herself. Indigo then finds out the real reason why her mother never wanted to paint Wolfwood again and it was because painting Wolfwood submerges the artist into the dangerous fantasy. As the lines between reality and fantasy blur for Indigo it becomes a struggle to continue the balancing act.
S. B1453wo

Brennan-Nelson, Denise and Brennan, Rosemarie
Illustrator: Moore, Cyd
Willow. 2008. Picture Book.
Miss Hawthorne is Willow’s art teacher and Miss Hawthorne emphasizes tidiness, structure, and reinforces coloring inside the lines. However, when Miss Hawthorne is met by an imaginative and creative child such as Willow that colors outside the lines and draws from her imagination Miss Hawthorne does not know what to do with Willow! It is not until Christmastime when Willow gifts Miss Hawthorne her beloved art book that transformation begins to occur within Miss Hawthorne. A once rigid woman begins to doodle and then to paint and then suddenly, her home is filled with art. When the students come back to the classroom after winter break, they come to find Miss Hawthorne usually prim and proper to have paint smeared jeans and smock who then invites them to help paint their classroom into a work of art. With soft toned watercolors and nature imagery the artwork culminates to a painting of a Willow tree as a tribute to Willow and Miss Hawthorne along with the rest of the students learn the intense power of imagination.
Q. SE. B7512w

Epstein, Gabriela
Claudia and the New Girl. 2021. Graphic Novel.
Claudia from the Babysitters Club has always been the most creative and artistic person in her class. That is until Ashley Wyeth enters the picture. Claudia thinks Ashley Wyeth is the most amazing artist she has ever known. When Ashley mentions how she thinks Claudia is a fantastic artist too and is wasting her talent by being at the Babysitters Club meetings, Claudia begins to miss BSC meetings instead of hanging out with Ashley. It then becomes clear to Claudia she will have to choose between Ashley or the Babysitters Club.
S.741.5973 Ep854bscl

Esperanza, C. G. (Charles George)
Illustrator: Tegen, Katherine
Boogie Boogie, Y’all. 2021. Picture Book.
Boogie Boogie, Y’all is a distinguished picture book that has received numerous accolades including ALSC Notable Children’s Book of the Year, Odyssey Award winner, Pura Belpré Honor Award winner, New York City Book Award winner, and Audie Award finalist. Boogie Boogie, Y’all is an ode to graffiti art. Three children in the Bronx stop to admire the dazzling and wondrous art around their community only to realize the art that surrounds their community is often ignored and unappreciated. The three children then find it is up to them to display to the world how beautiful art is and inspire a newfound appreciation for the urban art around us and the special opportunity of living in diverse cityscapes and communities.
Q. SE. Es64bo

Kannan, Malavika
All the Yellow Suns. 2023. Young Adult.
Maya Krishnan is the main protagonist who is fiercely protective of her friends, immigrant community, and single mother although living in the conservative Florida suburbs does not make it easy and she tries her best to never cause rifts. Her classmate Juneau Zale, a white wealthy playboy, however, is the opposite who evades consequences. Juneau invites Maya to join the Pugilists, a secret society of artists, vandals, and mischief makers whose main drive is to fight for justice at their school. Joining the Pugilists inspires Maya to confront her own challenges in life.
S. K1332al

Linka, Catherine
What I Want You to See. 2020. Young Adult.
Winning a scholarship to a prestigious art school in California seems to be a fairy tale dream for Sabine Reye. After losing both her mother and her home Sabine is hoping for a fresh start and a place that will make her feel at home again, where she belongs. However, she did not anticipate how cutthroat art school could be, and it seems like the renowned faculty member Colin Krell does not agree with her talents and believes if she does not improve, she will be kicked out of her merit scholarship. What I Want You to See is an engrossing narrative that will leave you on the edge of your seat when reading a journey of deception, moral ambiguity, and attraction.
S. L6487wh

Slade-Robinson, Nikki
Anywhere Artist. 2018. Picture Book.
“I don’t need paint or paper. I can make art anywhere. My imagination is all I need.” In this delightful picture book Slade-Robinson illustrates a young artist whose creativity propels her and emphasizes the message that anyone can be an artist with the help of their imagination. This picture book will inspire all young artists to use their imagination and creativity to bolster their artistic creations. Anywhere Artist is a useful tool in helping springboard lessons of found object art projects and how to use your imagination to create art anywhere and with anything!
Q. SE. Sl124an

Smith, Nikkolas
The Artivist. 2023. Picture Book.
When a young boy discovers the inequalities in the world, he feels the urge to do more. He decides to combine his skills of artistry and passion for activism to be renamed as an artivist. Once he completes a mural that goes viral, he finds his purpose in one painting at a time to shed light on the injustices in the world. Nikkolas Smith presents young readers with an enthralling tale to urge young readers to acknowledge the injustices in their world and provide art and creativity as healing for the broken world we live in.
Q. SE. Sm629ar

Soontornvat, Christina
Illustrator: Davenier, Christine
Simon at the Art Museum. 2020. Picture Book.
Simon at the Art Museum is a delightful picture book that follows Simon and his first time visiting an art museum. He realizes just how much art he must look at and decides to take a break by sitting on a bench. When Simon sits on the bench and begins to observe others, he realizes the several types of people that come to visit a museum and how each person has a different reaction to viewing the art. Some people smile, some people are in groups, some people shake their heads, and others shed a tear. Simon at the Art Museum focuses on new experiences and learning about seeing things from an unfamiliar perspective.
Q. SE. So63si

Yamasaki, Katie and Lendler, Ian
Everything Naomi Loved. 2020. Picture Book.
Naomi’s home is on 11th street. It is characterized by the honking cars, pizza by slice, the hair by Carmen, the corner bodega, and where her best friend Ada lives. However, the 11th street Naomi loves and recognizes begins to change, the shops begin to close, buildings are torn down, Naomi’s neighbors are being pushed out and must move. Naomi’s once beloved 11th street becomes unrecognizable which leads her to pick up a paintbrush inspired by her neighbor Mister Ray’s words that “when something we love goes away, we paint it on the wall so it’s always with us.” Naomi then creates an 11th street mural detailing all the intricacies and facets of the precious things that make 11th street special. Everything Naomi Loved is an inspiring tale of a celebration of community and friendship with threads of social justice that will remind us of all about how special home can be to each of us.
Q. SE. Y148ev


A Colorful World: Books about Art

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.

Bryant, Jen.
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]

Burleigh, Robert.
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]

Heiligman, Deborah.
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]

Manning, Mick.
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]

Wells, Marcia.
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]

Cabin Fever: Crafts and Activities for Indoor Days

It’s March and, while technically spring starts on the 20th, being kept indoors by the unpredictable weather leads to cabin fever. If kids are bored and unable to get outside, keeping them busy with some fresh indoor crafts could help pass the time.

The following round up of books includes ideas for painting, knitting, sculpting, playing games, cooking and doing science experiments — even a book explicitly for surviving boredom. In March, that’s what it’s all about.

Search Tips

Keyword searching can be a little tricky if you don’t know what sort of craft or activity will strike your fancy. Lots of the books below have a keyword of “handicraft,” which might not be intuitive for library users, but seems to be the catch-all library term for lots of these arts & crafts books. If you know what sort of boredom-buster you’re looking for, adding a keyword like “science experiments,” “cooking,” or “knitting” will bring up relevant results.

Adding the keyword “juvenile literature” will limit to non-fiction.

Your best bet for browsing is to check out the 700s, which is the Dewey classification for Arts & Recreation. More science experiments can be found in the 507 section. Cookbooks are in the 640s.

Beginning Readers

Brown, Peggy.
The Golden Book of family fun. 2011.
From making a backyard water park to classic outdoor games such as ‘”Kick the Can,” this go-to book for families looking for fun and creative games features activities, party ideas, and crafts to do together.
[S-Coll Q. S.790.1 B814g]

Casagranda, Brigitte.
Salt dough fun. 2005.
Contains a recipe for salt dough and instructions for ten creations. A clear, full-color photograph accompanies each step-by-step instruction, keeping the projects simple and easy to follow.
[S-Coll Storage S.745.5 C261s]

Leroux-Hugon, Hélène.
Art foam fun. 2006.
Provides instructions for creating a variety of projects using craft foam, including masks, crowns, bracelets, pencil holders, and napkin rings.
[S-Coll Storage S.745.57 L5626a]

Lipsey, Jennifer.
I love to finger paint! 2006.
The colorful array of creative activities will have budding painters amazed at all the different ways they can use their fingers, hands, and even their feet to make both realistic and abstract pictures. It won’t be long before proud youngsters produce galleries of blot masterpieces, dinosaurs, fingerprint people, animals, and crazy creatures. Plus, they’ll learn some simple how-to’s for mixing colors and making their own paints. The text is kept to a minimum, so even pre-readers can follow along.
[S-Coll Storage S.751.4 L668il]

Llimós, Anna.
Easy cardboard crafts in 5 steps. 2008.
Presents art projects made with cardboard that can be created in 5 steps. Projects include making your own drum or hand puppet, journals, folders, and more!
[S-Coll Storage S.745.54 L7709e:E]

Llimós, Anna.
Easy earth-friendly crafts in 5 steps. 2008.
Make each of these crafts in just five steps. Projects include instructions for making a spinning top or firefighter. You can even make a penguin, a worm, a coin purse, and more!
[S-Coll S.745.5 L77e]

Ross, Kathy.
Crafts for kids who are learning about dinosaurs. 2008.
The prehistoric age of dinosaurs was a mysterious land of flying, swimming, and running giants. And yet there were also dinosaurs the size of chickens! Ross gives step-by-step instructions for making crafts such as a Fossil Necklace, a Plesiosaur Bathtub Toy, a T. Rex Collar Clip, a Duck-Billed Dinosaur Magnet, and more. Kids will want to get going and fill their world with dinosaurs.
[S-Coll S.745.5083 R733c]


Dennis, Yvonne Wakim & Arlene Hirschfelder.
A kid’s guide to Native American history: more than 50 activities. 2010.
Hands-on activities, games, and crafts introduce children to the diversity of Native American cultures and teach them about the people, experiences, and events that have helped shape America, past and present. Nine geographical areas cover a variety of communities such as the Mohawk in the Northeast, Ojibway in the Midwest, Shoshone in the Great Basin, Apache in the Southwest, Yup’ik in Alaska, and Native Hawaiians.
[S-Coll Q. S.970.00497 D423k]

Gillman, Claire & Sam Martin.
The kids’ winter fun book: homespun adventures for family fun. 2011.
A cold weather-themed activity treasury for kids and caregivers features a wide variety of indoor and outdoor suggestions from ice skating and snowball fights to making toffee apples and snowshoes.
[S-Coll S.790.1 G416k]

Kohl, MaryAnn F.
Art with anything: 52 weeks of fun using everyday stuff. 2010.
Organized alphabetically by material, each week features one everyday material (address labels, fabric scraps, leaves, rocks) and provides five days of unique activities, increasing in complexity with each day. Art with Anything uses materials like buttons, cardboard, hole-punch dots, junk mail, masking tape, sandpaper, and salt, which encourages recycling and reusing.
[S-Coll Q. S.745.5 K823a]

Locricchio, Matthew.
The 2nd international cookbook for kids. 2008.
Following the popularity of The International Cookbook for Kids, Matthew Locricchio brings us more mouthwatering recipes specially designed for kids and their families.
[S-Coll Q. S.641.59 L819s]

Moss, Marissa.
Amelia’s boredom survival guide: first aid for rainy days, boring errands, waiting rooms, whatever! 2006.
While waiting for her sister’s medical appointment, a bored Amelia creates a handwritten book of fifty suggestions for passing the time.
[S-Coll Storage S. M855abs]

Mooney, Carla.
Amazing Africa: projects you can build yourself. 2010.
25 fun projects that kids can complete using common household supplies and recycled materials that teach about ancient civilizations, ethnic groups, and unique traditions in Africa.
[S-Coll S.960 M779a]

Newcomb, Rain & Bobby Mercer.
Smash it! Crash it! Launch it!: 50 mind-blowing, eye-popping science experiments. 2006.
There’s nothing children love more than the satisfying smashing and bashing of things being demolished. They always do it for sheer amusement; now they can do it in the name of science. And they’ll enjoy it so much that they won’t even think they’re learning physics as they’re wrecking stuff. Just imagine the expression on kids’ faces as they watch a microwaved marshmallow grow bigger…and bigger: up to four times its size. Will it blow up? Think of the delight as they power cardboard race cars with ordinary balloons or launch homemade rockets. All the scientific terms are explained in language that children will both understand and appreciate–and the safety precautions make sure the science stays fun and worry-free.
[S-Coll S.507.8 N435s]

Peterkin, Allan.
Chill: discover the cool (and creative) side of your fridge. 2009.
Describes how to creatively decorate a refrigerator using home-made magnets to best express one’s personality, and includes information on the history of food refrigeration.
[S-Coll S.745.5 P441c]

Ross, Kathy.
One-of-a-kind stamps and crafts. 2010.
Provides step-by-step instructions for making a variety of craft projects involving rubber stamps, including a button flower stamp, sequin stamp, puzzle piece stamp, and rubber band stamp.
[S-Coll S.761 R733o]

Sadler, Judy Ann.
Quick knits. 2006.
With this book in the Kids Can Do It series, kids can knit some crazy cuffs to jazz up jeans, jackets, sweaters or hats. Make a cool drawstring backpack to hold your gear. Use big needles and thick yarn to knit these and many other projects yourself — and get speedy results! Beginning knitters will find all the directions they need, and experienced knitters will be inspired to try something new.
[S-Coll S.746.43 Sa156q]

Wagner, Lisa.
Cool painted stuff. 2005.
Projects include a flowered mini-tote, checkered frame, treasure box, and fancy flowerpot. Includes materials list, color photos, and numbered steps. Information boxes offer insight on palate choices and other topics, including safety and care for materials.
[S-Coll Storage S.745.7 W125c]

Young Adult

Barton, Carol.
The pocket paper engineer: how to make pop-ups step-by-step (Vol. 2, Platforms & props. ). 2008.
From simple greeting cards to intricate paper creations, this engaging workbook thoroughly explains the mechanics of pop-ups while teaching paper artists of all skill levels to create 10 different designs. Step-by-step, full-color instructions coupled with detailed illustrations enable vibrant floating platforms, tabbed props, and miscellaneous other pop-up effects to be easily constructed. Each section includes perforated pages with pre-printed designs and directions.
[S-Coll Storage S.736.98 B285p]

Schmidt, Dagmar & Freya Jaffke.
Magic wool: creative pictures and tableaux with natural sheep’s wool. 2011.
Activities with unspun sheep’s wool, also known as magic wool, offer a wide range of creative possibilities for both children and adults. In this book Dagmar Schmidt and Freya Jaffke combine their talents and experience, and show how to create beautiful pictures, as well as table-top scenes featuring figures and animals. They explain the process of carding and dyeing unspun wool to make “magic wool.” They focus on making pictures with wool, including scenes from several well-known fairy tales and festivals, before showing how to make simple dolls and animals, building up to an entire nativity scene. Detailed instructions, diagrams and color photographs are provided throughout.
[S-Coll S.746 J18g:E2011]