Since this week is the Ann Arbor Art Fair, I decided to focus today’s Monday Summer Reading Recommendations on Art Themed books. I would like to thank my two readers who responded to my Facebook request for art themed books. I have arranged the books by reading/interest level starting with a board book.
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The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse
When I started thinking of books to include in an art-themed book, I immediately thought of how much I love the artwork in the Eric Carle books. My daughter was drawn to his books from a young age, particularly The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I swear she could find it on the shelf at the library by 9 months old. There was a minor meltdown one day when I wouldn’t check out the Spanish version (we already had the English version checked out).
So I was very happy when a reader suggested Eric Carle’s The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse when I asked for art-themed books. The book was released in 2013, after my daughter had outgrown reading picture books so I was not aware of this book. Since it is available as a board book or a picture book, it is great for all ages.
My Many Colored Days
My Many Colored Days was an unpublished manuscript by Dr Seuss about colors and feelings that just needed an artist to complete the illustrations. In 1996, the estate found the right artists to provide the illustrations – husband and wife team Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.
The Day the Crayons Quit
In The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywait, all of Duncan’s crayons have quit after the colors have been fighting with each other. It’s up to Duncan to make peace and bring the crayons back to doing their jobs.
Magic Treehouse Series
My daughter loved the Magic Treehouse series of books as a preschooler through early elementary school. We started by reading them to her and then she took over reading them herself. Their travel through time provides a great introduction to various history, literature, and art topics. When I thought of this series, my first thought was they must meet a couple of artists and checked the list of titles. While they meet authors, composers, and musicians several times, they only meet one artist – Leonardo DaVinci in Monday with a Mad Genius (Magic Tree House, No. 38). The companion Magic Treehouse Fact Checker: Leonardo DaVinci provides additional facts about Leonardo DaVinci. My daughter loved the Fact Checkers and even at 10 I still see her flip through them on occasion.
American Girl Books
My daughter loved the American Girl dolls and reading their stories. From the historical characters (now called Be Forever), she learned about various times in American History. With the Girls of the Year, there were stories set in modern times representing different challenges that girls face and with each girl having a different interest. Saige was the 2013 Girl of the Year from American Girl. She was passionate about visual arts. While the doll and accessories were only available in 2013, the two books – Saige and Saige Paints the Sky – about her are still available.
Under the Egg
When I asked my daughter if she knew of any books about art, she suggested Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald which was read aloud to her class in library. She suggested the book for kids her age (she’s 10). The book is about a 13 year old girl who is trying to find the treasure that her late grandfather told her is hidden “Under the Egg” referring to a painting of an egg hanging on their wall.