The one with stories to tell:
Tell Me a Picture by Quentin Blake
As the first Children’s Laureate, Quentin Blake created an original exhibition in the National Gallery, London for which he chose twenty-six of his favourite pictures. Some were illustrations from children’s books, others were pictures by artists such as Edward Hopper and Paula Rego. All were wonderful pictures that tell a story. Through Quentin Blake’s choices and his gentle notes about the pictures all young readers have the opportunity to enjoy all kinds of art and to bring their own meaning to it.
The Story of Paintings by Mick Manning and Brita Granström
A friendly and inspiring introduction to art history, telling the stories of the world’s greatest paintings and artists from prehistory to the modern day. The Story of Paintings begins with the cave paintings of our Stone Age ancestors and continues through to the modern day. Mick Manning and Brita Granström take you on a tour of their personally selected gallery, which showcases the work of some of the world’s most famous artists and few a less well-known ones. The artists featured include van Eyck, da Vinci, Bruegel, Rembrandt, Velazquez, JMW Turner, Van Gogh, Monet, Matisse, Georgia O’Keefe, Picasso, Frida Kahlo and Jackson Pollock as well as Dame Laura Knight and Kalan Khan. The friendly text and illustrations help children to appreciate the art, highlighting interesting biographical details and picking out key details to spot. The book’s large format means the art is reproduced on a wonderfully impactful scale. This really is a book to give and treasure. The creative team of Mick Manning and Brita Granström are well-known for their ground breaking children’s information books. Their many awards range the TES Information Book Award for What’s Under the Bed? and the English Association Non-fiction award for Charlie’s War Illustrated.
The one to dip into
Great Art in 30 Seconds by Susie Hodge and Wesley Robins
This striking, energetic book takes a rapid-fire ‘look and learn’ approach to subjects suitable for children aged eight and over and makes the learning experience really fun. With fascinating topics ranging from dinosaurs to art, from myths to science, each of these books presents a key subject in a fresh and fascinating format. The subjects in each title are explained in thirty-second sound-bites, supported by three-second flash summaries. And if all that isn’t stimulating enough, the three-minute mini-missions included will further challenge lively young minds. With colourful, original explanatory artwork on every page and text from a range of expert authors, these books are loaded with fun information and fast-track facts.
The creative one
Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake and Rainer Schwake
Art Lab for Kids is a refreshing source of wonderful ideas for creating fine art with children. This step-by-step book offers fifty-two fun and creative art projects set into weekly lessons, beginning with drawing, moving through painting and printmaking, and then building to paper collage and mixed media.
Each lesson features and relates to the work and style of a contemporary artist and their unique style. Have fun exploring: drawing by creating a whimsical scene on a handmade crayon scratchboard; painting by using watercolors and salt to create a textured landscape; printmaking by using lemons, celery, mushrooms and other produce to make colourful prints. creating an expressive self-portrait using pieces of coloured tissue paper, and making insects from patterned contact paper and watercolour pencils.
Art Lab for Kids is the perfect book for creative families and friends, and this gives you hours of arty and creative fun for the budding artist.
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
A book to make you think and feel, this is an important, beautiful, spellbinding treasure. Words from nature are disappearing, left to one side to be forgotten. Some words are in real danger of being lost forever; this book reveals those words, sings them, shows them, reminds us how to love them. Spell-weavers Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris have created a bewitching ode to nature, reminding us of the danger of absence, highlighting beauty, whispering to our soul. It feels as though the words, the poems, and vividly beautiful pictures are as one; the essence of the word escapes the page to wrap itself around you. The Lost Words is suitable for all ages, and should find a special place in all homes, all libraries, all schools, all hearts. Do read the spell-poems out loud, listen, look, feel, touch, allow your awareness to open and receive these gifts. I found myself entranced. I fell completely under the spell of The Lost Words. I simply can’t recommend it highly enough.
The serious one
Meet the Artist: David Hockney by Rose Blake
A fun, creative and engaging introduction to the work of one of Britain’s most exciting artists. With bold, colourful and playful illustrations by Rose Blake, Meet David Hockney is packed with make-and-dos and inspiring activities for young budding artists