picture books about art
Hello fellow book lovers! My name is Maribel and I blog over at Learning in Wonderland! Jen asked me to share some of my favorite books to teach about art! Well, I don’t think she knows this but I love teaching through art! As an ELL, I often struggled with just about every subject, however art was not one of them. I loved art and I thrived because of it. It was an area in which I could shine and build my confidence. I strongly believe that all children have an artist inside them. Therefore, I try to bring in art into my classroom in every way possible.
All of the following books were written or illustrated by Peter Reynolds. My go-to author about art. So let’s get started!
Up first is Ish.
This is a story that I like to share when first introducing writer’s workshop. I tie art with writers workshop BIG time because I notice when children put more effort into their drawing, they tend to put more effort and detail into their writing too.
This story is about Ramon, who loses all confidence in his drawing ability after a mean comment. He regains his confidence when he discovers that his sister, Marisol, loves his art so much that she plasters all his drawings all over her walls.
He learns that his drawings don’t have to be perfect to be valuable.
Once he regains his confidence he goes on drawing in his “ish” style!
I love to read this one because it helps my students not to focus on perfection. I think we’ve all had those students who worry so much about everything looking just right, that they don’t move on from that one thing on their page. Reading this book is valuable to those children. It’s also great for the whole class to read because it keeps all the kids from making less than stellar comments to one another about their art. They choose to be like Marisol and compliment, instead of criticize, each other.
My next book, Sky Color, features a young girl named Marisol. I cannot say for certain, but I’m pretty sure she is Ramon’s little sister from Ish! My kids love when authors add a measure of continuity between stories this way!
This story is about a girl that takes on the challenge of painting the sky for her library’s mural.
She soon discovers there is no color blue in the paint set.
This forces her observe the world around her and she comes to realize something about the true colors of the sky.
Her sky color depicts what we see in every day life!
I love to share this book with my students because it opens their minds up to make observations about the world around them. All of a sudden children begin looking at their world in new ways. They can see and appreciate the beauty in ordinary every day things. After this book, I notice that my students’ illustrations are so much more lively and colorful and more true to what you expect to see in real life.
I still remember the day back when I was in third grade, when our art teacher had us paint the sky pink, purple, and blue. That night for homework, she assigned us one thing to do. Go outside and watch the sun set. Hot summer days in Arizona mean lots of pink and purple skies. I think it’s funny how I never noticed this until it was pointed out to me.
Up next is a classic. The Dot!
This was my first ever Reynolds book so it holds a special place in my heart! This book is especially good for children who don’t think they can draw.
The main character, Vashti, hates drawing. When prompted to draw something, she jabs her paper with her pencil.
Her teacher has her sign the dot she made and frames it!
This inspires her to get super creative with dots. My favorite part is toward the end when after running into a boy who feels like he can’t draw,Vashti motivates him to try, just like she had been by her teacher.
I love this story so much because it shows that people are talented in different ways. Most importantly, this story shows that things can change as long as we are willing to try. I love seeing my kids’ faces when they think they can’t draw something and find out that they can as long as they give it a try.
There are SO many books I could share, but these are my favorite and the first ones I look toward to bring in art into our classroom! Do you have art favorites of your own? Please share as I am always looking for new ones to bring to my classroom!
Check out more suggestions on picture books about art with Courtney at Ramona Recommends.
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