Those of you that frequent Kitchen table Classroom often know that teaching through books is kinda my thing. Finding quality books about artists written directly to and for kids is the perfect introduction to an art history education.
Finding books about artists has never been easier or more fun. There are just so many quality options to choose from. This list is specific to series of books. Pick a series, any series.
Anholt’s Artist’s Books for Children
What I love about these book sis that they turn the artist into the main character in the book. It’s a (mostly factual) story, not an art history text. The illustrations are sweet & the stories have some meat to them. Anholt makes the each artist’s story relatable and memorable. This series could easily translate to a year long (or even two year long) art history curriculum for elementary students.
Who Was Series….
I love this series for art and pretty much every other subject there is. We use them as a read aloud for my younger kids and as read on your own book for my older kids. These are chapter books with very few illustrations but they are easy reading and present SO much information!
The Katie Series
Meet Katie. Katie will introduce your kiddos to a variety famous works of art as she dives into the artwork for a new adventure. These classic stories by James Mayhew are easy to read and provide some great factual information along the way!
Meet the Artist
Each book in this series by Patricia Geis is full of interactive fun. Bold colors, flaps, pop ups, cutouts, and pull tabs bring the work of these artists to life. Art history is far from boring with this series.
Alexander Calder: Meet the Artist (favorite, here)
Smart About Art Series
The Smart about Art Series is especially fun because it is told through the eyes of a child. There are reproductions, a little humor, and plenty of factual information to make these books a great learning tool and a fun story time!
The Mini Masters Series are board books. That’s right these books about artists are for the youngest crowd but can be enjoyed by anyone. Simple rhyming text and beautiful pictures are a great introduction to these artists. Each book in this series is co written by the authors Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober.
The Mini Masters Boxed Set contains four board books (Degas, Monet, Matisse, and Van Gogh.) This set is a deal compared to buying the books separately and would make a sweet gift!
More board books about artists…
This group of board books written and illustrated by Susan Goldman Rubin is just too cute. These books have reproductions of the artist’s work along with simple text. What a great way to make fine art relatable to even the youngest listener! I also love that this series features some artists that aren’t as typical to children’s literature like Thiebaud and Jacob Lawrence.
Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists
This classic series by Mike Venezia has SO many titles. The sheer number of titles means that this series covers more than just the few popular artists you see in most series. They combine cartoon images with reproductions of the artist’s work in a fun, easy to read way.
Venezia’s books do a great job of giving a background information on the artist and providing some context for their work. They can get a little long depending on the age of your audience. I tend to use these books as a spine and skip around a bit! (Fun fact; there is also a series called Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers by the same author!)