Art Books for Kids

As a Mom to a toddler boy, I am always looking for kids art books that are creative, educational and beautiful on the shelf. My husband and I are both designers, so we can’t help but encourage learning art and design and we enjoy building a library for our son.

It’s great to see his interest in color, shape, and imagery grow!

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite kid’s art books: for infant, toddler, preschool-age and school-age. Themes include color, design, fine art, pattern, art techniques, and papercraft. Books are separated by age and noted if part of a series. 

In addition, I’ve included my favorite publishers and art museum stores for you to find many more unique books online for your little one! 

Books for Infant

Art for Baby Black and white images from leading modern artists.

Baby Art Gallery: Turn Your Baby into an Art Critic Black and white art cards inspired by the world’s greatest artists.

Spots and Dots (Series: Art Baby and Baby Sees) High contrast simple shapes and patterns.

My Very First Book of Colors, by Eric Carle. (The Very Hungry Caterpillar author/designer). Flipbook of colorful images that match to corresponding colors.

My First Shapes with Frank Lloyd Wright Basic shapes inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Books for Toddler

art books for toddler

Pantone: Colors Introduction to 9 basic colors and 20 shades of each. If you don’t know Pantone, it is a forecasting and trend service that provides more than 10 million designers worldwide a universal color language. Other noteworthy kids titles under this global brand: Pantone Color Puzzles, Pantone Box of Color: 6 Mini Board Books, Pantone Color Cards

Mini Masters Boxed Set (Series: Mini Masters) Introduction to art history with mini-books of artwork from Degas, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Monet. 

Mix it Up (New York Times bestseller) French author Hervé Tullet explains color mixing in a fun and interactive way. 

Paris: A Book of Shapes (Series: Hello, World board books) Early learning concepts paired with colorful illustrations of iconic art, architecture, food and culture of cities around the world.

Baby 101: Architecture for Babies (Series: Baby 101) Simple words and bright, engaging illustrations. An introduction to architecture including information about how buildings are made featuring famous sites. 

Books for Preschool-age

Squares & Other Shapes: with Josef Albers (Series: First Concepts with Fine Artists) Basic geometrics inspired by the artwork of Josef Albers.

My First Book of Patterns Stripes, polka dots, plaid, chevron patterns and more are featured in this first-ever concept book.

Alexander Girard Color 20th century designs inspired by the artwork of architect and textile designer Alexander Girard.

Baby’s First Eames: From Art Deco to Zaha Hadid A whimsically illustrated board book that offers an A-to-Z overview of modern design icons.

My Museum, by Joanna Liu. A picture book about a day at the museum.

Books for School-Age

I Heart Design Cooper Hewitt Activity Journal (Series: I Heart) Collaboration with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, introducing historical and contemporary design to kids.

Art Activity Pack: Picasso (Series: The Art Activity Pack) A full-color book about the artist that showcases some of his famous works and provides instructions on making collages. Also includes a packet of six different decorative papers.

Alexander Calder (Series: Meet the Artist) Pop-up activity book from Princeton Architectural Press that brings the world of fine art to children in a fun and interactive way.

13 Art Techniques Children Should Know (Series: 13) Comprehensive art education book featuring detailed explanations, full color reproductions and a timeline. Prestel publishing; there are 20 books in this series!

Sew Spectacular: Adorable Animals Papercraft animals that you can stitch, embellish and decorate to make hand-made keepsakes.

My Top 4 Picks, Publishing Houses

Did you know that leading publishers have curated lists of kids books organized by age? You can see which books are coming soon, best sellers and award winners! 

Phaidon Leading global publisher of creative arts based in New York and London. 

Mudpuppy Boutique publisher based in San Francisco. 

Chronicle Books Independent publisher based in San Francisco. 

Penguin Random House Global publisher based in New York.

Insider’s Tip: Museum Store Art Books

Shop the online store of the nation’s top tier art museums! All museums have a store, and you can peruse their kids art books section easily.

A few of my favorites are: 

De Young, Legion of Honor 

Museum of Modern Art 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Guggenheim Museum 

The Whitney Museum of American Art

Get your kids excited to learn about Art! 

Art books for kids are a great addition when building your child’s library. Even newborns love art imagery! If you have a budding artist in your home, as I do, I hope you find some inspiration here. What are your favorite art and design books for kids? 

See you out there, Northern Nevada Moms! 


Maureen Lowe
Maureen Lowe

Maureen Lowe is a Bay Area native that relocated to the high desert mountains of Southwest Reno with her family in 2017. Mama to her active pup and toddler boy, Maureen is a textile designer and graduate of CCA San Francisco. With a lifelong love of nature and the arts, Maureen has made it a mission to explore Reno’s scenic trails and cultural offerings to find kid and dog-friendly outings that work in all seasons.