These are the books to encourage and inspire the young people in your life who dream of being writers, poets, architects, dancers, or who just love to get creative.

Well-chosen books encourage and inspire the young people in your life who dream of being writers, poets, architects, dancers, or who just love to get creative.

Books for Young Creatives
Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas

Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas

The first half of the book is about the man and his work, from his Wisconsin childhood to his mature years as an accomplished architect. Several of his masterpieces like the Robie House, Fallingwater, and Hollyhock are discussed in detail. The second half of the book contains 21 projects (including an edible graham-cracker-and- icing model of Fallingwater). Perfect for budding architects. 7 and up.

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Matthew’s Dream

Matthew’s Dream

Author:

Matthew lives with his poor mouse family in the corner of a dusty attic. His parents have high hopes for him, but he still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. After a school field trip to the art museum he realizes he wants to be an artist, and from that point on he sees his small world through an artist’s eyes. Age 5 and up.

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13 Artists Children Should Know

13 Artists Children Should Know

Author:

This book provides a wonderful introduction to great artists such as da Vinci, Monet, Cassatt, Van Gogh, Picasso, Chagall, and Warhol. Gorgeous illustrations of their most famous works are included, along with timelines and vignettes about each artist and information about their style of art. This beautiful book will help kids get familiar with art and comfortable with its vocabulary. Age 7 and up.

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Cool City

Cool City

Author:

This book isn’t a Lego instruction manual. Instead, its 32 pages are packed with wonderful photos of detailed city scenes Kenney constructed entirely from Legos. This is a book to return to again and again. Kenney is one of a handful of “certified Lego professionals” in the world, and all of his books are excellent. Age 4 and up.

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Olivia

Olivia

Author:

This is a story about a pig named Olivia: “She is good at lots of things. She is very good at wearing people out. She even wears herself out.” She gets in trouble when she reproduces Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm #30 on the walls at home. On rainy days she likes to go to the museum and look at her favorite painting--Degas’s Ballet Rehearsal on the Set--for a long time. Olivia is a high energy kid (well, pig) with lots of spunk and a bit too much sass, and kids will enjoy this first installment. Age 2 and up.

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The Hundred Dresses

The Hundred Dresses

Author:

Wanda Petronski is a Polish girl in a Connecticut school whose classmates make fun of her for wearing the same old dress every day. Wanda defends herself by saying she has a hundred dresses at home, but nobody believes her. When Wanda moves away, her classmates feel terrible--but it’s too late to make things right, even though they now know the truth behind Wanda’s claim. A poignant, beautiful book. Age 6 and up.

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Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures

Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures

Author:

The Draw 50 series walks young artists step-by-step through the drawing process. Get this Draw 50 book for the budding architect in your life. Tons of other titles are available to suit the interests of your young artist: they can learn to draw flowers, trees, and plants, animals, or even magical creatures. Age 9 and up.

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Let’s Make Some Great Art

Let’s Make Some Great Art

This interactive workbook is packed with artistic activities. Your young creative can learn to draw a face, practice hatching and crosshatching, make a comic strip, and a hundred or so other activities. The emphasis is on fun, not perfection, making this perfect for kids who are learning about art. I will say, however, that I ordered myself a copy of this book last fall. Age 8 and up.

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Picture This: How Pictures Work

Picture This: How Pictures Work

Author:

Children’s illustrator Molly Bang uses simple shapes--and the story of Little Red Riding Hood--to explain how pictures work. This fascinating book is simple enough for elementary schoolers, but adults will enjoy it—and learn plenty about design, too. You’ll never view art the same way again.

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Where do you want to go next?

paper gains table of contents
good reads for bookish parents
books that belong in every family’s library
series kids love (and their parents do, too)
great picture books
books for baseball fans
books girls love
books boys love
books for young creatives
delightfully silly books
animal tales
books for the transportation-obsessed
books for young adventurers
books to fire young imaginations
books to pore over
classics for a reason
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