Five Great Art Appreciation books

I love art appreciation and I love using a good general art book to share my love of art with my kids. We own all the featured art books mentioned below and use them during our Morning Time routine on Fridays.

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1. Children’s Book of Art: An Introduction to the World’s Most Amazing Paintings and Sculptures from DK is a good art history introduction for elementary aged kids. It starts with cave art and progresses through modern art. Interspersed throughout are explanations of styles, methods, how-to’s, timelines, and interesting tidbits about specific artists or pieces of art. You could get by with just this one book for a well-rounded art history.

Of course, I am never satisfied with just one book!


2. Usborne’s The Children’s Book of Art: An Introduction to Famous Paintings is a good one to have to make sure your children are at least familiar with the world’s most famous paintings. The art is arranged chronologically starting with Renaissance artists.It has an “About the artist,” interesting facts about the specific painting and is just enough information to whet the appetite and make a personal connection to the art.

3. The Art Book for Children (Books One and Two) have a large reproduction of a piece of art on one side of the page and things to look for, questions to ponder, close up enlargements of details on the other side.

moving fast

Great for art appreciation if you want a bit of direction and focus. Paintings (and sculptures) vary from Renaissance to Modern art.


4. Come Look With Me series (we own World of Play, Enjoying Art with Children, and Animals in Art but there are several other titles in the series) are set up similarly to The Art Book for children, except the art chosen revolves around a theme as per the title of the book. There are a few focus questions and a brief snippet of information on the artist and the piece of art showcased. We have been able to find some of these in the library.


5. How to Teach Art to Children is an Evan-Moor book from my teaching days. It is the perfect book for non artsy parents who wish to teach the elements of art to their children but have no clue how to start. The elements of art include: line, shape, color, value, texture, form, and space, and this book teaches you what each one is and provides accompanying art projects to practice each element. Part two of the book has projects that combine the elements of art while focusing on 24 famous artists and cultures.

Click the image below to find art books to teach through an art timeline.

31 picture books