Friday, August 27, 2010

My Pics: Children’s Books About Artists

It’s almost back-to-school time, and at least here in Southeastern Massachusetts the beautiful autumn weather will be rolling in soon. Time to get your fall book collection together! These are my picks for great children’s books about artists:

My Name is Georgia by Jeanette Winter (Harcourt Children's Books, 1998) is a must-have. Georgia O’Keeffe is one of my favorite artists, not only because I love her art, but because she has an inspiring life story as well. Incorporating quotes from the artist herself, this story traces the O’Keeffe’s life from childhood through her 98 years. The reader discovers how Georgia’s ideas came from the world she saw around her. The text is minimalist and very accessible. The illustrations echo the vivid colors of O’Keeffe’s work. I’d recommend this for ages 5 through 8, for boys and girls alike.

Mike Venezia’s series Getting to Know The World's Greatest Artists (Children’s Press, 1988-2004) is an affordable and entertaining collection about artists from all time periods. Venezia’s collection started a couple of decades and now totals 48 different titles. The books are full of humor and hilarious cartoons that make it fun to learn about famous artists. Recommended for grades 3 to 4, but even older kids enjoy these. There is also a series especially for music fans dedicated to the World’s Greatest Composers.

Finally, Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer (Dutton Children’s Books, 2003) by Robert Byrd is one of my favorite books about the greatest genius of all time. Recommended for ages 9 and up, Dreamer is a treasure of a book with beautiful illustrations and inspiring facts. Each full-color page is a new adventure that chronicles the life of the genius Leonardo da Vinci. There is even an extensive bibliography with time lines, web sites and further reading for those interested in learning more about da Vinci. This is the type of book that is so packed with interesting details, you’ll notice something new every time you open it.

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