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Best Kids Picture Books to Inspire Childrens Art

by Jean Van't Hul
January 13, 2012

3 Best Kids Picture Books to Inspire Childrens ArtPost by Stacey Loscalzo 

We live and read in a time of amazingly beautiful children’s literature.

While I know there were talented illustrators when I was young, I can’t help but believe that my children are incredibly lucky.

Each book we read seems to be more amazingly illustrated than the one before.

As we read, we take time to soak in all the color and line and design. Sometimes we pay attention to the detail and sometimes we just relax into the prettiness of it all.

Similarly, some books are simply enjoyed while others just shout out for us to create. For us to imitate the artist; to try a similar technique or medium.

A few of our current favorites are below…

The Best Kids Picture Books to Inspire Childrens Art

1chalkThis post contains affiliate links.Chalk  by Bill Thomson

In this story, three children discover a bag of chalk at the playground on a rainy day. They soon discover that anything they draw with this chalk comes to life. This discovery is fun when they are able to draw the sun and make the rain disappear but becomes less pleasant when the dinosaurs they draw chase them through the park.

It is hard to read this book and not run out to the driveway with a container of sidewalk chalk. The images my girls draw after reading Chalk are always are full of hopeful imagination and deep color.

ArtmaxArt & Max by David Weisner

Arthur, a serious painter, is enthusiastically approached by his playful friend Max while he is in the midst of decorating a canvas with gorgeous color. Max decides that he too wants to paint and so begins the fun.

This story has a deep message about creativity and individuality but it is also a great introduction to any painting project.

Perfectsquare-300x300Perfect Square by Michael Hall

Perfect Square is another book with a message. Change is ok. But it also has the added benefit of inspiring simple paper creations.

The book’s pages inspire us to realize that a square, when cut up, can become anything we want it to be from a garden to a boat to a fountain. It’s hard to imagine an easier list of materials than paper and scissors. With that and inspiration from Perfect Square, my girls have created wonderful images and scenes.

So hopefully you are off to find more books to inspire delightful art projects.

There is no better combination, in my mind, than literature and art brought together so please share your favorite literature and art combinations. I’d love to keep my list growing.

3 Best Picture Books to Inspire Childrens Art

In your opinion, what are the best kids picture books to inspire children’s art?

More picture books about art 

About the Author ::

StaceyLoscalzoAn experienced reading specialist and speech language pathologist, Stacey Loscalzo is today’s go-to authority for parents who wish to instill a lifelong love of reading in children. The mother of two young daughters, Stacey knows that reading aloud with children puts them on the path to long-term educational success. You can learn more about her adventures with growing readers at her blog,

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