Art by Patrick McDonnell. Rhyming text describes how little Art makes passionate zigzags, "scribbles that squiggle," lots of dots and "the curliest cue." His creations, rendered in watercolor and crayon, become a neighborhood scene and the location of Art's dream. He awakens to find his artwork proudly displayed on the family refrigerator, "put there by Mother 'cause mother loves Art."
Danny's Drawing Book by Sue Heap. A snowy trip to the zoo with his friend Ettie prompts Danny to write an illustrated story with pencil sketches in his drawing book. Danny draws himself and Ettie into the story and suddenly the friends are on an exciting adventure with an elephant and an aardvark. This imaginative story is sure to inspire many children to write their own illustrated stories this winter!
Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty. This adorable picture book features Jeremy and his unique illustration of a monster that comes to life! Suddenly, the blue, squiggly, horned monster demands that Jeremy draw him a whole assortment of objects. "Draw me a sandwich. I’m hungry!" "Draw me a telephone. Somebody might call," the monster exclaims. How will Jeremy ever get rid of this annoying monster?
Lily Brown's Paintings by Angela Johnson, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Lilly Brown loves spending time with her family, but when she begins painting, the stars visit sidewalk cafes, the trees wear hats and drink tea, the fruit at the market stand laughs out loud, and the wind carries stories across the ocean. Vivid watercolor illustrations celebrate children’s imaginations and depict the magic that the young girl finds in art.
A Day With No Crayons by Elizabeth Rusch. A Day With No Crayons is a delightful children's picture book celebrating creativity. When young Liza draws on the white wall with crayons, her mother takes them away. With the crayons gone, all the color drains from Liza's world. What does the budding artist do? She squirts her toothpaste angrily and stomps through mud puddles. Through these acts, Liza inadvertently creates art—and eventually discovers color in the world around her.
When Pigasso Met Mootisse by Nina Laden. In this charming tales of modern artists, a cleverly named pig, Pigasso, and a colorful bull, Mootisse and Pigasso start out as neighbors but end up fueding when they start criticizing one another’s work. The painters end up with a colorful mess by ultimately building a fence between the two. Based loosely on the real-life relationship between Picasso and Matisse, this tale is a wonderful tribute to these exceptional talents and to the concept of accepting the ideas of others. This title is sure to be perfect for any young artist’s personal library.
Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg. This riveting children’s picture book encourages children to view mistakes not as failures but opportunities. As the book states, "A torn piece of paper" (the cardboard is actually torn)… is just the beginning (of an alligator’s smile). Throughout this book, various spills and paint blobs are transformed into animals, a folded sheet of paper becomes a penguin’s head, and most notably, a panel with a hole in the center telescopes outward, accordion-style, to reveal a tiny creature way at the bottom. This inspirational book is sure to inspire children to take creative risks and not condemn their mistakes.
Recent research demonstrates a correlation between the arts and higher academic performance. In the report, "Learning, Arts and the Brain", seven universities presented several studies discussing how visual arts, music, and dance training and skill positively impact learning (The Dana Foundation, 2008). To encourage artistic expression among children, rouse their creative spirit by checking out one of the above illustrated picture books!