Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: An Artist's Style

Charlotte in Giverny - (ISBN: 978-0811858038)

by Joan MacPhail Knight

Charlotte accompanies her family to a loosely organized group for artists studying Impressionism in Giverny, France. The remote but almost godly figure of Monet lingers nearby, and Charlotte includes her experiences with the French countryside (source of much of Monet’s work) in a colorful journal, along with her experiences with adjusting to a new culture, friends, and language. Richly illustrated with Impressionist paintings, the journal coveys the mind set of the aspiring painters. Create your own illustrated journal when your family sets out on a new adventure.

Georgia Rises: A Day in the Life of Georgia O'Keefe - (ISBN: 978-0374325299)

by Kathryn Lasky

Georgia O’Keefe viewed the world very differently, and her visions of and obsessions with things radically affected her paintings. She saw the world as vivid color, simplistic but iconic shapes, and pastel variations of light. Try taking one of O’Keefe’s shapes and making a potato stencil of it, creating a painting by dipping the potato in many different, vivid colors before imprinting the shape on paper.

In Real Life: Six Women Photographers - (ISBN: 978-0823417520)

by Leslie Sills

Sills explores the lives and backgrounds of six artistically powerful female photographers. The subject matter of each woman’s work reflects the concerns she developed growing up. For example, Dorothea Lange’s outstanding and famous shots of the Dust Bowl era not only gained her artistic notice; they also influenced the national psyche. Trace the developing styles of Imogen Cunningham, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Carrie Mae Weems, Elsa Dorfman, and Cindy Sherman.

Look! Seeing the Light in Art - (ISBN: 978-1847800381)

by Gillian Wolfe

The author encourages readers to interact with the illustrations and paintings and observe how body language influences the messages in paintings. As you become more sensitive to the influence of the human figure in art, you will look at the use of light, shadow, and dimensionality and how they affect the artworks’ impact.

The Cat Who Went to Heaven - (ISBN: 978-1416949732)

by Elizabeth Coatsworth

When a Japanese artist receives a commission to paint a Buddha, his painting is rejected because he includes a white cat that has come to live with him in the painting. His compassion for the cat proves to be miraculous, fitting in well with Buddhist edicts, despite initial problems caused by the painting. Enjoy this beautiful retelling of a classic folk tale.

Charlotte in New York - (ISBN: 978-0811850056)

by Joan MacPhail Knight

Linnea in Monet's Garden - (ISBN: 978-9129583144)

by Christina Bjork

Look! Drawing the Line in Art - (ISBN: 978-1845078249)

by Gillian Wolfe

Norman Rockwell: Storyteller with a Brush - (ISBN: 9780689820014)

by Beverly Gherman

Stephen Biesty's Incredible Cross-Sections Book - (ISBN: 978-0590738705)

by Stephen Biesty

The Cartoonist - (ISBN: 978-0435123857)

by Betsy Byars

Vincent Van Gogh: Portrait of an Artist - (ISBN: 978-0440419174)

by Jan Greenberg

Activities for this Theme

Try making a collage, collecting materials meaningful to your life


Encourage your children to try their hand at taking pictures with a simple digital camera. If it’s summer, try an underwater disposable! You may have to search for a place to get film developed, though.


Take your family to a local art museum or university gallery and discuss the various styles of paintings and other visual arts. Vote for the ones you would most like to hang in each room of your home.


Enjoy looking at some unusual food art