Willow :: A childrens picture book about art and imagination

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Willow Childrens Book about Art and Creativity

This post contains affiliate links.We have a fun new childrens picture book about art and creativity!

Willow, written by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan, and illustrated by Cyd Moore.

While this book is new to us (I bought it for Maia’s birthday), it is not new to the world (It was published in 2008).

It’s about an imaginative and kind young artist named Willow and her influence upon her art teacher and her class.

It really is very lovely and inspiring.

Here’s a photo from the beginning of the book, showing the art teacher, Miss Hawthorn, as is pinch-faced and narrow-minded. She expects her students’ drawings and paintings to match the examples she hangs at the front of the class.

Willow Childrens Art Book Interior 2

While most of the students comply by drawing regulation green trees and red apples that look alike, Willow drives her crazy with pink trees, blue apples, and snow-ladies.

But… Before winter vacation, Willow gives Miss Hawthorn a gift…

…her favorite art book.

And Miss Hawthorn is inspired to get out her art supplies and doodle. Her inhibitions fall away and her creativity is unleashed (Look at how she is depicted in the pages above compared with the pages below…).

Willow Childrens Art Book Interior 1

When Willow and the other students return from winter vacation, they are dumbfounded by the transformation of their teacher and their classroom. Creativity was now encouraged and “This time, everyone painted just the way they wanted…”

Willow kids picture book about art and creativityOf course I love this book. How could I not? I love the messages about imagination and creativity in art, love the example that Willow provides to her classmates and teacher, and love the idea of Miss Hawthorn pulling a 180 and changing from a strict art-hating teacher to one who embraced her own creativity and that of her students.

Have you read Willow?

If not, I recommend it, especially for early school-aged kids (as well as their parents and teachers).

How about you? What is your favorite picture book about art?

Some more picture books about art 

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Willow A Childrens Book about Art and Creativity

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  1. J says

    OMG. This describes my child’s kindergarten teacher to a T, and it’s a major source of stress for all of us. I’m going to look for this book today!

  2. says

    Have you read “Ish” by Peter Reynolds? That is my one of my FAVORITE art books! I love that my kids refer to things by adding “ish” to the ending of the image they’re drawing, too.

  3. Padma K says

    Jean – this is our favorite along with The Dot & Ish by Peter Reynolds & The Pink Refrigerator by Tim Egan.

  4. Michelle says

    This is my favourite book! I’ve been reading it to my grade one class for the last few years. They love it! We re-read it so many times throughout the year. I recommend it to anyone who wants to express that there are no mistakes in art…just opportunities.

  5. Mel says

    Thank you so much for the great book recommendation. We also read Willow and the Snow Day Dance (we liked that one even better!). We also have really enjoyed your recommendation a while back for the Anna Hibiscus books. Thank you!

  6. Pia says

    Hi Jean
    Thanks again for recommending this book. My daughter just loves it and we have read it at least twice every day since it arrived in our home. I will be recommending it to our friends also!