Books for Kids Who Love the Arts

Does your child regularly conduct full jam sessions with the kitchen pots and pans? Draw epic crayon murals on your living room wall? Doodle all over every spare piece of paper you have in the house? Inspire your budding little artist with stories featuring poets, writers, painters, and creators just like them.

A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Age Recommendation

When Ezra Jack Keats was growing up, he knew what it was like to feel different and left out. So when he created his famous picture book, A Snowy Day, he had an idea about how to write and draw his main character, Peter.

Emma’s Poem by Linda Glaser

Recommended for ages 6 to 8

Emma Lazarus was raised in a wealthy Jewish American family in 1880’s New York City, where she was moved by the plight of immigrants. As a young woman, asked to write a poem to raise money for a pedestal for the proposed Statue of Liberty, she composed “The New Colossus” and so became the voice of the Statue of Liberty. This is the story of the difference she made in her world.

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue by Anna Harwell Celenza

Recommended for ages 8 and up

George Gershwin, an up-and-coming composer, finds himself in a pickle -- he has only a few weeks to write an entire concerto! At first he panics, but then he realizes that all the inspiration he needs is in the great melting pot of immigrant America.

The Kugel Valley Klezmer Band by Betty Stuchner

Recommended for ages 5 to 7

Shira has observed the town klezmer band since she was a baby, longing for the day when she could play along. When Isaac the fiddle player is sick, Shira gets her chance!

Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen

Recommended for ages 8 and up

Young Gitl is getting ready to head from Russia to America -- and she is trying to decide on a new name to adopt when she gets there. At the same time, sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi is preparing a beautiful new monument, Lady Liberty, for her own trek across the sea. When Gitl and Lady Liberty encounter one another, Gitl knows what her new name will be.

A Picture for Marc by Eric Kimmel

Recommended for ages 6 and up

Based on the life of artist Marc Chagall, this lively picture book follows a young boy as he encounters art for the first time and realizes he loves to draw.

Rifka Takes a Bow by Betty Perlov

Recommended for ages 7 and up

Rifka is growing up in the world of 1920s Yiddish theater on the Lower East Side, where both her parents are actors. She loves poking around backstage. But one day, Rifka herself is in the spotlight!

Shmulik Paints the Town by Lisa Rose

Recommended for ages 5 to 6

Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, is here -- and the mayor wants Shmulik to paint a mural to celebrate. But what should Shmulik paint?