Hands down, one of my favorite children’s literature publishers is Usborne Books. Their selection of non-fiction is unparalleled; they have hundreds of books that make subjects like science and history accessible and fun. But nothing compares to their amazing selection of books about fine art! Today I’m going to review six different titles from Usborne’s fine arts library, with picks for children ages 6-13.
My father is an artist, and art education was an important part of my childhood. I am truly impressed at the overall quality and attention to detail that Usborne puts into their non-fiction titles, and I can honestly say that these are the most comprehensive and entertaining art history books that I have ever read!
This book is an excellent introduction to art history for younger readers. The book is divided up into eight sections including Exploring Art, Making Art, Colorful Ideas, and Hidden Meanings. This book goes beyond just a typical art history lesson by incorporating fun facts like how early artists made their own oils paints (did you know that ground beetles were used to make the color red?). There are dozens of flaps to lift that reveal bite-sized chunks of information and cool pictures. This tactile learning makes this book an excellent pick for reluctant readers and children who get bored easily. Ages 6 to 10.
This set of 30 thick and sturdy flash cards is perfect for art lovers of all ages. Each 4×6 inch card features a picture of the painting on one side and facts about the painting on the other. Every card includes the name of the artist, where and when it was painted, the medium used (oil paint, acrylic, etc.) and where in the world that painting can be viewed today. They also include a few brief paragraphs with fascinating tidbits on the history of the painting. Ages 6 to 12.
This book features 22 works of art, by artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Hokusai, O’Keefe, Degas, and Rousseau. Each work of art is accompanied by a project that is influenced by the style or methods of the artist. This book is unlike any of the other books on this list because, in addition to teaching art history and appreciation, it encourages kids to get their hands dirty and create art. There are projects for a variety of skill levels, so this book will appeal to a wide range of ages. There are plenty of different drawing and painting projects, as well as sculpture and collage. This book is the perfect way for any budding artist to spend a rainy day! Ages 6 to 12.
This is a fabulous introduction to art for children in the upper elementary grades. The book features 35 works of art, plus lots of photos. There are biographical blurbs on 30 different artists, from the Renaissance period all the way to the 20th century. The book is packed with bite-sized chunks of information about different artists and paintings, and it also includes an introduction to various artistic mediums and techniques. There is a glossary of over 30 art terms, which makes this book an excellent choice for independent reading. Ages 9 to 12.
This book features 35 of the world’s most famous paintings. The book has large, full-color pictures that fill up the page. Every image is accompanied by plenty of information, including where and when the work was painted and a fascinating glimpse at the story behind the painting. This book is a must-have; it’s like visiting the world’s most renowned museums without ever leaving home! Ages 9 to 13.
This book features 35 of the world’s most famous artists. The artists are listed in chronological order, all the way from medieval painter Giotto and Renaissance great da Vinci to 20th-century artists like Rene Magritte and Jackson Pollock. There are 2-4 pages on each artist, packed with pictures and information on the artist’s life and career. None of the paintings in this book are featured in The Usborne Book of Famous Paintings so they complement each other perfectly. Ages 9 to 13.