My Favorite Art Books for Children: Famous Artists and Art Activities for Kids

Find more articles on homeschooling and resources for teaching as part of my Homeschool 101 series.

One of my favorite areas to explore and teach to my girls is art!  Here are some of my favorite resources for teaching about art to children.

Favorite Books for Teaching About Famous Artists and Art Appreciation for Kids

1) Anholt’s Artists Series

Hands down, this is my absolute favorite series of books on artists for children.  These are not packed full of information about the artists.  Instead, a story from the artist’s life is shared in these beautifully illustrated books.  I believe these books engage the children and make them want to learn more about these artists.  The titles include:

2)  Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists Series

This series offers a more in-depth look at the artists.  You will find the facts and history of the artists in these titles.  Some of the available books include:

3)  Usborne Art Books

Several years ago, I signed up as an Usborne Consultant (mainly because I wanted to get a discount on the books !) and filled my library with tons of beautiful art books from Usborne.  From very basic books on drawing to extensive photo collections of art, Usborne has some of the highest quality books on art I’ve seen.  A few of my favorites include:

Please be advised there may be some art pieces in the books containing nudity.  If you are uncomfortable with that, I would suggest checking out the books to screen them through your library before adding them to your home collection!


4)  Come Look With Me Series

These books are especially nice for preschool and early elementary ages.  They simply show a piece of art and ask questions —  excellent for teaching a child how to evaluate and explore the meaning in art.


Favorite Books to Find Art Activities for Kids

5)  ANY Book by MaryAnn F. Kohl

You just can’t go wrong with any art book by this author.  I own several of them and hope to eventually get them all!

6)  How to Teach Art to Children (Grades 1-6)

I used this book when I was teaching, and we’ll go through it this year to learn the basic elements of art (Part 1).  Part 2 of the book includes art projects in the style of various famous artists.

7)  Masterpiece Monday

Although I haven’t posted one in a long time, you can check out some of our previous Masterpiece Monday projects.  These are age-appropriate art activities for preschool and elementary.

The concept is simple:  I choose one artist per month to study.  We look at paintings or artwork from the artist, read stories about his or her life, and attempt to make our own art in a similar style!

What are your favorite art books for kids?



  1. Terri says

    Thanks for this! We haven’t done much of anything with art (officially), and some direction would help me, I think. I do own MAK’s First Art and we love it…especially her play clay recipe.

  2. Melissa says

    This is such a great list. Thanks.

    I was also hoping to draw on your knowledge. I remember a children’s book showcasing the childhood art of several children’s book illustrators with comments from them about how to become a great artist. Most of those comments were along the lines of ‘practice a lot’. The artworks were very similar to any child’s artwork. I remember that steven Kellog’s work was in it, but i cant remember any others. My baby is 29 now so it was from several years ago. Do you happen to know of that book? I would love to know the title. [email protected]

    • Stacie Nelson says

      Hi, Melissa!

      I’m not sure about that…you might try browsing Amazon in the kid’s art books to see or making search for Steven Kellogg art book or something like that? Let me know if you figure it out!

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