Library Lists: Introducing Fine Art to Kids!

We know that kids love to create their own art, and children can recognize and be influenced by different artistic styles from a very young age. Learning about fine art can seem dry, but there are lots of great books geared towards younger ages that introduce famous artists and their work in fun and unique ways. Here are a few suggestions:

In the family-oriented An Eye For Art, children are introduced to over 50 famous artists and their work representing a huge range of styles and techniques. Related activities ranging from focused looking to creative writing and the child’s own artistic development accompany the information and images about each artist.

Learning Through Art, published by the Guggenheim Museum, offers art and art appreciation exercises based on well-known 20th century paintings and pieces from the Guggenheim.

Art Up Close: From Ancient to Modern is a beautiful book that emphasizes the finer points of various masterpieces by turning them into an “I Spy”-like game. In the same series, and just as well-done, are the Louvre Up Close and Masterpieces Up Close.

In Modern Art Adventures, kids are introduced to the fresh and unusual artistic styles of the past three centuries, then let loose to create their own art inspired by the techniques they’ve learned. Over 35 hands-on projects make sure that there’s something for everyone in this book.

Linnea in Monet’s Garden is an adorable introduction to Monet, his family, his garden at Giverny and his work. Readers will join a young girl as she visits the home and garden of Monet, and the illustrations include photographs from the painter’s life and of his work.

Ooh! Matisse is the most basic of introductions to fine art for the youngest readers. Portions of Matisse’s cut-out paper art are splashed brightly across the pages, and young readers will learn to recognize both the art and the words that describe it (“flower,” “square,” “figure,” etc.)

The Collins Big Book of Art opens with a useful timeline of the history of art: when different styles were developed and where, and what artists were doing around the world at different points in time. This collection is great for kids interested in artistic variety: from cave art to pop art, it has it all.

If you’re interested in other cool fine art books for children, check out the suggestions on this list.

Artist Appreciation: Matisse

Kids in grades 3-8 are encouraged to join us at the downtown library Thursday afternoon, June 25, at 2:00pm for a Henri Matisse program! A short presentation will discuss the artist's life and style of work and then attendees will have the chance to create their own art in the style of Matisse.

This is a great way to learn about and create your own fine art!

She Blinded Me With Science

A few new fact books in the same series have hit the shelves in the youth department that immediately caught my eye. With bright, colorful photographs and diagrams, along with easy to read small blurbs of factual information, it’s a winner for the curious of all ages.

Extraordinary: Facts from the everyday to the exceptional answers questions about the biggest, smallest, slowest, coldest, etc., on a variety of topics such as space, human body, history, plants, and places. Why don’t haircuts hurt? How do mushrooms grow so fast? What game do 250 million people play? Can a car run on chocolate?

Weird Or What: A cornucopia of curious questions and answers delves into topics such as earth, history, nature, transportation, and society and culture. How big is a swarm? Why is an octopus spineless? Who decides what’s fashion? Which animals lived in the ice age?

If you’re into books such as the Guiness Book of World Records these are right up your alley.

Stonewall Award 2015 Winner and Honor's for Children's and Young Adult Literature

The Stonewall Award is an annual award handed out by the ALA for books that recognizes exceptional merit relating to the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender (GLBT) experience. The award has different winners for adults, young adults, and non-fiction.

This years winner for the Youth award (the Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award) was This Day in June a picture book that illustrates a pride parade. It also includes some wonderful end matter that explains GLBT history and some of the references made in the book.

The honors books are
Beyond Magenta: transgender teens speak out a book where 6 transgendered or gender neutral young adults are interviewed and photographed in order to represent them before, during, and after their acknowledgement of gender preference.

I’ll Give You the Sun a story about Jude and Noah two twins. Noah keeps falling in love with the boy next door and Jude cliff-dives and wears red lipstick and does the talking for both of them, but three years later neither one of them talks much. Just what could have happened to cause this change?

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress is a story about a boy who love to wear a tangerine dress, his adventures and how he deals with adversity.

If you are interested in past stonewall winners check out this list

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

As a beautifully illustrated picture book, Mr. Ferris and His Wheel is the true story of how mechanical engineer George Ferris invented and constructed the amazing spinning wheel, coined the Ferris Wheel after him, to debut at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It’s a great story of perseverance and determination after Ferris was doubted as to whether or not his "contraption" would work or be safe. But during the nineteen weeks the World’s Fair ran in Chicago over 1.5 million people rode the wheel, which revolved more than 10,000 times total, and did not need one single repair.

By Mouse & Frog

By Mouse & Frog is a new picture book by Deborah Freedman. It features a nice, quiet mouse who is writing a story. A fantastic story! So many ideas are flowing out of his pencil! But Frog is super duper enthusiastic about the storyline and keeps interrupting Mouse’s writing process with his own ideas.

“Once upon a time Mouse was trying to tell a story, but Frog bounced and bounced without listening to Mouse!”

Will Frog stop interrupting? Will Mouse get to finish writing the story? Will teamwork be involved at all?! This charming book will make you giggle and smile and appreciate the balance that's in every friendship.

Odyssey Award 2015 Winner- H.O.R.S.E.: A game of basketball and imagination by Christopher Myers

This year the winner of the ALA and YALSA's Odyssey Award is H.O.R.S.E.: A game of basketball and imaginationby Christopher Myers. H.O.R.S.E. is a story about two young children playing a game pick-up basketball and trying to outdo each other with absurd and imaginative plays.

The award is given to audiobooks that have great production values and this book is no exception with sound effects for hoop swishes and even horse whinnies!

If you are interested in the honors audiobooks for this years Odyssey Award check out this list.

Gorgeous New Youth Non-Fiction

If you’re looking for new books with beautiful and interesting images, look no further than our Youth Non-Fiction section!

First up are the companion books Amazing Animals: A Collection of Creatures Great and Small, and Beautiful Beasts: A Collection of Creatures Past and Present. These books are light on text but littered with gorgeous drawings of all kinds of animals, from the cute to the gruesome. The animals are organized by color, but also by more unusual ways, such as speed, tails and even ear size! With some of the most lovely illustrations I’ve ever seen, these books are sure to please everyone.

If the above books leave you wanting more information about animals, check out Information Graphics’ Animal Kingdom. With bright colors, tabs dividing sections, and quick, interesting animal facts, this book wonderfully compliments Amazing Animals and Beautiful Beasts.

Finally, Matthew Burgess’ new biography of E.E. Cummings, Enormous Smallness, will delight even readers who are unfamiliar with the poet. With text that swoops all over the pages, and beautiful illustrations by the always fantastic Kris Di Giacomo, this book captures E.E. Cummings’ unique style. A chronology, selected poems, and author’s note complete this book, providing extra information to curious readers.

Atlas of Adventures: A Collection of Natural Wonders, Exciting Experiences and Fun Festivities from the Four Corners of the Globe

Atlas of Adventures is an exciting new book that invites children to learn a little more about the world around us. The book consists of a collection of intricately illustrated maps (including world, continental and regional varieties). There are labeled map pages for each of the continents, as well as several unique landmark pages within each continent. Each of these specialized regional pages showcase different notable activities and landmarks-- for example, the Europe pages take a look at the Louvre, the Moscow Metro, and a Venetian gondola ride (among many others). With Atlas of Adventures, you can explore the Amazon rainforest, dog sled with huskies in Alaka, go on a canoe safari down the Zambezi River, or set the world aglow at Hong Kong's Lantern Festival. Additionally, there is also a "Where's Waldo" inspired game throughout the book's pages, adding an extra level of fun and whimsy to this amazing collection. This highly recommended book is a great way to inspire a love of geography and travel in children of all ages.

Circle, Square, Moose

From the author and illustrator of the funny and wonderful picture book Z is for Moose comes a new tale featuring Zebra and Moose. As usual, Moose is causing trouble and Zebra just wants order.

In Circle, Square, Moose the very enthusiastic Moose invades a book about shapes and his pal Zebra tries really hard to get him out of the book and out of the way of those beautiful shapes! He wants to teach everyone about shapes. Circles! Squares! Triangles! Not Moose! In the end Moose and Zebra patch things up and the book is saved with the help of a very special shape and a great friendship.

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