March is Youth Art Month at the Library!

Drawings by young artists are on display at both the Downtown Library and the Ellettsville Branch throughout March, and we welcome contributions (contact Library Staff for details). If you're looking for inspiration, check out these beautifully illustrated books depicting the childhood experiences of famous artists.

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe

(2017 Caldecott Medal winner)

“Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocked to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art work had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere. Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn't always have to be neat or clean—and definitely not inside the lines—to be beautiful.”

The Art Lesson
written and illustrated by Tomie De Paola

Tommy can't wait to begin taking art classes at his school, but when the time finally comes he's dismayed to discover that he's expected to follow rules and copy others' drawings. With the encouragement of his understanding teacher, Tommy finds a way to follow her rules and still express himself through his drawings.

Colorful Dreamer: The Story of Artist Henri Matisse
Marjorie Blain Parker; illustrated by Holly Berry

The story of Matisse’s childhood in an industrial town in France. Young Henri is expected to study and work hard so he can grow up to take over the family store, but his dreams are bigger and more colorful than anything around him. When Henri is given his first paint set after being hospitalized, he learns to express his dreams.

The Noisy Paint Box:The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art
Barb Rosenstock; illustrated by Mary GrandPre

Vasya is a proper Russian boy studying math, history, and piano—but everything changes when his aunt gives him a paint box. His teachers want him to paint only objects, but Vasya shows the world he can paint sounds and music.

Jonah Winter, illustrated by Ana Juan

When she falls ill as a child, Frida Kahlo teaches herself to draw. She draws and paints throughout her childhood, and after being injured in a bus accident as a young adult, she picks up her paintbrush and continues painting. Throughout her life, Frida paints when she's sad, lonely, or in pain, turning her feelings into beautiful works of art.

My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey
Jeanne Walker Harvey; illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

“In Harlem, New York City, an artist follows the rhythms of blues music as he recalls his North Carolina childhood while painting, cutting, and pasting to make art.”

A Poem for Peter:The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day
Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson

"A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day. Andrea Davis Pinkney's lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers."

Through Georgia's Eyes
Rachel Rodríguez; illustrated by Julie Paschkis

“Georgia O’Keeffe saw the world differently from most people. As a child she roamed the prairie with a sketch pad in her hand, struggling to capture on paper what she saw all around her. Lyrical and vivid, this is a portrait of an exceptional artist, a woman whose eyes were open to the wideness and wonder of the world.”


Picture Books Featuring Young Artists