15 Inspiring Books About Art and Creativity for Kids and Teens

Books to help students find their creative spark.

Let’s be honest—right now, many of us aren’t feeling too creative, adults and kids alike. That’s why we love using these joy-filled books as prompts during in person or online instruction. Hopefully, you’ll find creative “sparks” for future lessons in these favorite art books for kids.

Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!

ABCs of Art by Sabrina Hahn

Pre-K learners are asked to identify objects that start with each alphabetical letter in paintings by Van Gogh, Monet, and other famous artists.

Another by Christian Robinson 

A text-free picture free picture book by a Caldecott and Coretta Scott King honoree that encourages young children to access their imaginations in a variety of settings.

Anywhere Artist by Nikki Slade Robinson

Making art from natural materials is the theme of this bright-colored read.

Be A Maker by Katey Howes

Lyrical verse asks readers to consider how many different items they conceptualize using their own creativity in a single day.

Boxitects by Kim Smith

Architecture is the main passion of the two female protagonists who adore building structures using cardboard boxes.

Hey, Wall: A Story of Art and Community by Susan Verde

The story of a boy who inspires his neighborhood to paint a mural that reflects their diverse community.

A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa by Andrea D’Aquino

This nonfiction picture book narrates the life of the Japanese-American artist and sculptor. Plus, find instructions for hand-on activities in the back matter.

How to Spot an Artist: This Might Get Messy by Danielle Krysa

Colorful illustrations depict how artists live, and make art, all around us in this enjoyable read. Ideal for preschool through third grade.

Perfect by Max Amato

An eraser and a pencil learn to work together to produce lines, images, and other visuals both objects can be proud of.

Wreck This Picture Book by Keri Smith

The bestselling author of Wreck This Journal has revamped her original concept to simulate a younger audience to be creative using their hands, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.

The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be by Joanna Gaines

This fanciful tale embraces differences as it follows a group of children designing hot air balloons. 

Studio: A Place for Art to Start by Emily Arrow

Lively graphics reveal what takes place in various artistic spaces such as stages, dance studios, printing presses, and more.

We’re All Works of Art by Mark Sperring 

Famous and classical artworks help readers explore the importance of diversity, not only in art history, but in our daily lives.

Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World by Neil Gaiman

This four essay collection is written by an influential, multi-media artist. The goal? Inspiring teens to persevere in finding the creative outlet she/he/they seek.

Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir by Robin Ha

A graphic novel for tweens and teens about how Ha discovered art as a therapeutic tool—and eventual professional—after immigrating to the United States.

What are your favorite art books for kids? Share in the comments below!

Looking for activities to use with these books? Find inspiration in this round-up of 12 Online Art Resources.

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Posted by Rachel Werner

Rachel Werner is faculty for Hugo House and The Loft Literary Center; a We Need Diverse Books program volunteer; and a book reviewer for Shelf Awareness. She has contributed print, photography and video content to "Fabulous Wisconsin," "BLK+GRN," "Madison Magazine" and "Entrepreneurial Chef." She is also the founder of The Little BookProject WI, a community arts and nonprofit bi-annual collaboration. A passionate commitment to holistic wellness and sustainable agriculture keeps her a Midwestern girl at heart. Follow her adventures around the country on Instagram '@therealscript.'

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