Great Books for Art Lessons:

The Cats History of Western Art by Susan Herbert  

Thirty-two cat paintings–based on masterpieces by Michelangelo, Whistler, Sargent, Van Gogh, and many others–take a humorous look at the history of art. By the author of A Victorian Cat’s Journal.




Discovering Great Artists by Mary Ann Kohl and Kim Solga

Featuring more than 150 activities, this guide teaches the styles, works, and techniques of the great masters—Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and more.


Dynamic Art Projects for Children by Denise M. Logan 

17 projects are presented in a clear and organized manner. Each activity suggests the appropriate age range; the art concepts that it encompasses; style and/or the artist being introduced; a materials list; a definition of terms; and photographic, step-by-step instructions. All projects include samples completed by students in the representative age group.


 The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin, Rosana Faria and Elisa Amado

Living with the use of one’s eyes can make imagining blindness difficult, but this innovative title invites readers to imagine living without sight through remarkable illustrations done with raised lines and descriptions of colors based on imagery. Braille letters accompany the illustrations and a full Braille alphabet offers sighted readers help reading along with their fingers. This extraordinary title gives young readers the ability to experience the world in a new way.

The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty by Kenneth Libbrecht

Snowflakes may be an everyday, common subject, but youve never seen them like this! A collection of amazing photography of snow crystals using a unique system designed to take super-detailed micro images of these miniature ice masterpieces, “The Snowflake” is an extraordinary look at a seemingly ordinary object.


 Why Cats Paint? by Heather Busch and Burton Silver

An unprecedented photographic record of cat creativity that will intrigue cat lovers and art lovers alike.




I wish I din’t have to sleep by Keith Haring

Lightness and irony, pleasure and happiness, inventiveness and energy: Keith Haring had them all. And so did his art. With thick black lines, bright signs, and striking symbols, he created bubbling pictures of friendship, fun, feelings, and the imagination. This book is a voyage of discovery, exploring the world of art and showing us how to look at pictures in a relaxed, light-hearted way.


Ish by Peter H. Reynolds 

A creative spirit learns that thinking “ish-ly” is far more wonderful than “getting it right” . Ramon loved to draw. Anytime. Anything. Anywhere. Drawing is what Ramon does. It’s what makes him happy. But in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon’s older brother, Leon, turns Ramon’s carefree sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily for Ramon, though, his little sister, Marisol, sees the world differently. She opens his eyes to something a lot more valuable than getting things just “right.” Combining the spareness of fable with the potency of parable, Peter Reynolds shines a bright beam of light on the need to kindle and tend our creative flames with care.

 The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds 

It’s a simple, witty story with free-spirited illustrations, that entices even the stubbornly uncreative among us to make a mark – and follow where it takes us.



 Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson 

One evening Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight. But there wasn’t any moon, and Harold needed a moon for a walk in the moonlight. Fortunately, he had brought his purple crayon. So he drew a moon. He also needed something to walk on. So he drew a path…

And thus begins one of the most imaginative and enchanting adventures in all of children’s books.

Children and Painting by Cathy Weisman Topal

More than 250 full-color images will show you how to acquaint your students with the elements of design, and over 40 planned activities can be easily coordinated with your elementary curriculum. Strategies for positive feedback and clear directions for lessons included in every chapter.



 Art by Patrick McDonell.

A rhyming tribute to a budding young artist.


One response to “Books

  1. You should also be aware that the VSY Library/Media Center has a book or biography for nearly every artist in the MTM series. So if you are feeling inspired and want to learn more (or share more with the students) — go to the Library and check out a book!
    Peggy Hamilton, VSY Mom

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