books that encourage artistic ability and creativity

November 9, 2009

I love art. And while I am no Picasso, I still enjoy drawing, painting, and creating artwork in many different forms. One of my goals as a parent is to encourage Juliet to express herself through art and to appreciate other people's art. Here are a few books that celebrate the artist inside of all of us.

You might remember my review of The Dot by the same author several weeks ago. We saw this one at the library and had to check it out. We loved it for the story and for the message behind the story. Ramon, the main character, loves to draw. He draws all the time until one day, his older brother laughs at his drawing and says it doesn't look like what he is trying to draw.

Discouraged, he tries to make his drawings look "right," but eventually gives up, frustrated and angry. He gives up until he discovers that his little sister, Marisol, has kept all his crumpled up, discarded drawings and hung them up in her room. She points to her favorite drawing and he says, "That was SUPPOSED to be a vase of flowers, but it doesn't look like one." She responds with, "Well, it looks vase-ISH!"

This "ish" concept changes the way Ramon sees his art and himself. He begins drawing again with renewed life and energy because "thinking ish-ly allowed his ideas to flow freely." I thought that this might be over Juliet's head, but she loved the book. I was surprised to hear her giggle as I read the words on the final page, "The End-ish." She loves that part. Read/Listen to Ish online (Thanks to Ana @ Barefooted Blessings for the link to Tumblebooks!)

The Magical Drawings of Moony B. Finch by David McPhail

I found this book while on a bookhunting mission for my friend, Angel. I brought it home and just couldn't resist reading it before mailing it out to her. It's such an amazing book, that I had to order it for Juliet right away. It's out of print (published in 1978), but I found it easily on

The story is of a little boy who loved to draw. One day he is drawing picture in a park and his drawings begin coming to life. People start asking him to draw things they want for themselves like a treasure chest full of gold coins, a limousine, etc. But eventually, Moony gets tired of their greed and draws a dragon to scare them all away. Then he erases the big dragon and draws one final little drawing (of a little dragon) and goes home--walking his pet dragon on a leash beside him.

Here are some other books that go with the artistic theme that you should also check out. I've reviewed them in previous posts, so you can click the links to access those.

Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle
The ABCs of Art (Baby Einstein)
Bear's Picture by Daniel Pinkwater
Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh

What are your favorites? Leave a comment and let me know!


pussreboots said...

I almost checked out Draw Me a Star today from my library. I decided to save it for another day just because my kids have about thirty books currently checked out!

Adriana said...

I do not have any books in Spanish on the subject of art. I may have to check out one of these and just translate it for the boys. Thanks for the suggestions!

Ana said...

Hi Vanessa. it's me again! hehe. I just wanted to say "your welcome" and I've added your site to my link list, hope that's ok... Blessings

Brimful Curiosities said...

Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty is a cute book about drawing. Bear's Picture by Daniel Pinkwater is one of my favorites! (We also love Tumblebooks.)

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