Preschool and Picture Books

Theme: An Artist's Style

A Bird or Two: A Story about Henri Matisse - (ISBN: 978-0802851840)

by Bijou Le Tord

This delightful book both explains and shows how Impressionist artist Henri Matisse used light and cheerful colors to create his works in collage and cut paper. Matisse’s positive spirit and enchantment with creating art from everyday objects peppers the pages of the book; the book’s illustrator combines his own vision with some of Matisse’s creations to make this easy to read book interest readers of all ages.

Art and Max - (ISBN: 978-0618756636)

by David Wiesner

In this simple picture book, two lizards collaborate as they develop their artistic style. When one has nothing to paint, the other suggests painting his companion. Text and illustrations combine and explore how to create an individual style. This book is sure to appeal to readers at all levels!

Frida - (ISBN: 9780590203203)

by Jonah Winter

This beautifully illustrated book shares images of painter Frida Kahlo’s art and explains how her difficult life and severe injuries affected her artistic style and subject matter. With few words, the writer and illustrator combine to help us experience the Kahlo’s unique vision. Encourage your children to use colorful crayons and markers in creating their own versions of the objects around them.

Lots of Dots - (ISBN: 978-0811877152)

by Craig Frazier

The artist in this book, Craig Frazier, uses dots to record his observations of the world’ s many objects. He creates things from circles, and he finds circles everywhere. Try creating your own paintings using just polka dots!

Why is Blue Dog Blue? - (ISBN: 978-1584791621)

by George Rodrigue

In this whimsical book, artist Rodrigue shows how his famous icon of a Blue Dog can change its color and meaning depending on its context. If he is near the sea, the color of the dog might change to salmon; if he is hungry for a hot dog, it could change to yellow (for the mustard!). Try making a simple painting of the same object in many different colors; talk about where each might be appropriate.

A Blue Butterfly: A Story about Claude Monet - (ISBN: 978-0385311021)

by Bijou Le Tord

Art - (ISBN: 031611491X)

by Patrick McDonnell

What Pete Ate from A to Z - (ISBN: 978-0142501597)

by Maira Kalman

When a Line Bends. . . A Shape Begins - (ISBN: 978-0618152414)

by Rhonda Gowler Greene

Activities for this Theme

Try winter sugar painting


Listen to David Wiesner describe how he came to write Art and Max


Take your family to a local art museum or library to look for paintings by the artists mentioned in this month’s books.


Use Google Image search to find and print out images by artists to go in paper “frames” you hang on your refrigerator along with your family’s artwork.