If you've been following me for a while on Instagram, you know that I am a crazy Children's lit lover! How many pictures books do I have in my classroom AND in my own kids' rooms? The limit DOES NOT exist!
Since recently celebrating Read Across America Week, I thought I would go ahead and share some of my favorite books to have in the art room- or in any space hoping to inspire children. Here we go!
1. The Art Lesson | Tommie DiPaola.Call it nostalgia, but this book has been one of my absolute favorites since my childhood. In fact, my aunt bought me this book when I was in kindergarten and addressed it to me, "The Real Artist" just like Tommie in the book. Cue the tears! This was the book that made me want to be an artist and ultimately an art teacher. Everyone needs a bit of Tomie dePaola magic in their classroom. You can buy it here.
2. Bridget's Beret | Tom Lichtenfeld
This is such a sweet story about overcoming your obstacles and creative blocks and finding your creative spirit again! It also always helps when you read it WITH a beret to your students :) Grab it here!
3. Mixed: A Colorful Story | Arree ChungSuch a cute book when teaching about color mixing, and a great moral to the story as well. An art room must have! Grab Mixed here!
4. Aaron Slater, Illustrator | Andrea BeatyDid this book make me cry the first time I read it? Yes. Do I see a bit of myself in the main character Aaron? Also Yes. Do I think our children need to read about a character who isneurodivergent? 100x yes. You can buy Aaron Slater here!
5. What do You Do with an Idea? | Kobi Yamada
A beautiful story about staying true to yourself and your ideas no matter who supports you from the start. The illustrations are just breathtaking as well. Buy it here!
6. The Day the Crayon's Quit | Drew Daywalt
A now "classic" in the classroom. A hilarious tale about crayons who have a real bone to pick with their owner and write him many letters to air their grievances. You can find it here!
7. Be a Maker | Katey Howes
I absolutely LOVE the message of this book. Not only does the author encourage the readers to be a maker and explore their creativity- but she shows us how important it is to put your talents to use for the good of other! You can find Be a Maker here!
8. The Creatrilogy Series (The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color) | Peter H. Reynolds
It wouldn't be an art room book list without The Dot and the rest of the Creatilogy trilogy would it? Peter Reyonlds' main character, Vashti, takes us along on her journey to find her creative spark to "just make a mark". Grab The Dot here!
9. Swatch, the Girl Who Loved Color | Julia Denos
I feel as though Swatch, the main character in this book is an illustrated version of me. Swatch, the color tamer shares her love of color a little bit of chaos. The perfect book for a busy, colorful art room! Grab Swatch here!
10. Boxitects | Kim Smith
This book is so inspiring, especially coming out of a 2 year pandemic where my kid and I heavily relied on creating things out of cardboard to save our sanity in quarantine! Not only is the story really sweet but there is also several "how-to's" in using cardboard to create all kinds of amazing creations! This one is my son's favorite on the list! You can grab Boxitects here.
Whether you are just beginning to build your art room library or are looking for new books to add to your classics, I hope you were able to find this list helpful! Keep creating and keep reading!