Assistant Editor Faith Morgan shares a few creative favorites to add to your kids’ bookshelf.
I was raised by a couple of artists on maxims like “There’s no such thing as messing up in art; it’s just an opportunity to be creative” and “Kids are better artists than grownups” and “The most useful crayon is a broken crayon with the paper torn off.” My parents encouraged my sister and me to explore and experiment and create. (Coloring books, however, were verboten.)
As summer vacation approaches, here are a few favorites book—some old and some new—to inspire and encourage your kids to exercise those artistic muscles during their free time. (I still go back to a few of these myself from time to time for a little creative boost.)
Not a Box
From a race car to a rocket ship, an empty box is just ripe for a kid’s imagination! Antoinette Portis’s Not a Box and her follow-up, Not a Stick , reminds parents as much as kids to see beyond the obvious.
Peter Reynolds Creatrilogy
“Make a mark and see where it takes you.” Reynolds’s trio of books is the perfect encouragement for kids who are too intimidated to express their creativity because they are not the “class artist.”
Harold and the Purple Crayon
With the ideal blend of art and imagination, Harold has exciting adventures with the help of his trusty crayon.
Oh, the Thinks You Can Think
In his own brand of Seussian verse, the good Doctor describes some of the amazing things you can imagine with your thinker.
Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists
With easy-to-read words and witty cartoons, this fantastic series of books (with over 40 titles so far) gives an introduction to the lives and works of some of history’s greatest and most inspired minds.
Extra Credit: Written and Illustrated By
If you want to take on a project with your kids, and you’re not sure where to start, this book outlines an easy-to-use method for guiding them through the process of writing and illustrating their own books. (My mom used it with her art students and me several times over the years. More than a hundred complete books, written and illustrated by kids, came out of her studio. Each one was unique and wonderful!)