Artistic and Creative Children’s Books
Most children love sitting down with art supplies to create a masterpiece. Anything from paint, crayons, chalk and markers to clay and dough to left over kitchen and food items like egg cartons and popsicle sticks. Another way to encourage children’s creativity is with some art-themed books. We’ve put together a list with books about famous artists, creating art and using your imagination. And though this list is intended for children, we hope it might inspire you too!
By Barney Saltzberg
A spill. A smear. A smudge. A tear. When you think you have made a mistake, think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful! A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator. An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder. - Goodreads
Available at the Calgary Public Library: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S95C1157654
By Jeanette Winter
Step into the colorful world of Henri Matisse and his magnificent paper cutouts in this biography by acclaimed picture book creator Jeanette Winter. In a small weaving town in France, a young boy named Henri-Emile Matisse drew pictures everywhere, and when he grew up, he moved to Paris and became a famous artist who created paintings that were adored around the world. But late in life a serious illness confined him to a wheelchair, and amazingly, it was from there that he created among his most beloved works--enormous and breathtaking paper cutouts. Based on the life of Henri Matisse, this moving and inspirational picture book biography includes a note from the author, dynamic quotes from Matisse himself, and an illuminating look at a little-known part of a great artist's creative process. - Goodreads
Available at the Calgary Public Library: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S95C881167
By Peter H. Reynolds
With a simple, witty story and free-spirited illustrations, Peter H. Reynolds entices even the stubbornly uncreative among us to make a mark -- and follow where it takes us. Her teacher smiled. "Just make a mark and see where it takes you." Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can't draw - she's no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. "There!" she says. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti's journey of surprise and self-discovery. That special moment is the core of Peter H. Reynolds's delicate fable about the creative spirit in all of us. – Goodreads
If you enjoyed this book, it’s one of three best-selling picture books in the Creatrilogy series by the author that celebrate the power of original thinking and expressing yourself.
Available at the Calgary Public Library: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S95C374368
Not a box
By Antoinette Portis
A box is just a box... unless it's not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows. Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Antoinette Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real — when the imagination takes over and inside a cardboard box, a child is transported to a new world where anything is possible.– Good reads
After reading this book aloud, continue the fun by drawing shapes like a triangle or circle, and asking your child what the triangle is NOT!
Available at the Calgary Public Library: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S95C511520
Mix it Up!
By Hervé Tullet
Great for toddlers, preschoolers, and early readers to learn about combining colors in a fun and imaginative way.
Follow the artist's simple instructions and suddenly colors appear, mix, splatter, and vanish in a world powered only by the reader's imagination. In Mix It Up! Tullet sets readers on an extraordinary interactive journey all within the printed page. The perfect book for young children to develop an understanding of colors Ideal as a fun and interactive read aloud book for families or small groups. – Chronicle books
Available at the Calgary Public Library: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S95C957063
They Day the Crayons Quit
Written by Drew Daywalt and Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: We quit! Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Blue needs a break from coloring all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best? Debut author Drew Daywalt and New York Times bestseller Oliver Jeffers create a colorful solution in this playful, imaginative story that will have children laughing and playing with their crayons in a whole new way. Join in on the fun and games. Find out why the crayons are mad and how Duncan takes care of this dilemma! – Goodreads
Available at the Calgary Public Library: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S95C857285