Top 10 Art Books for Kids

Best Children’s Art Books

Encourage your child’s love of creative expression with the top 10 art books for kids. Here you will find a fabulous compilation of tutorials, coloring books, and other options that help your little one expand his or her imagination.

Whether learning how to draw people or animals, coloring the magical world of Harry Potter, reviewing 13 top art techniques, or creating projects with clay, paint, or collages, this treasure trove of artistic fun is sure to delight. Your child may find he or she has a true talent for the fine arts or discovers a similar medium to excel at. Books provide young minds with the nourishment they need to grow and thrive, and the top 10 art books for kids is no exception. Whether you pick only one or go for the whole lot, do not be surprised if your child’s desire to explore creative avenues continues to gain momentum.

What’s here: This fantastic compilation of the 10 best children’s art books was created by real moms and educators who enjoyed these books themselves or taught them in class. Numerous types and themes of books are included in the list to keep your youngin’ stimulated.

For shoppers: Purchasing any of these high-quality book options is easy–just visit Amazon! Please note that we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.  Also note that our recommendations are 100% made because we love the companies and products and are never influenced in any way by any commission we may receive.

Post Updated: April 9th, 2017


What’s Here:

1. Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake
2. Harry Potter Coloring Book by Scholastic
3. How to Draw People by Barbara Soloff Levy
4. 13 Art Techniques Children Should Know by Angela Wenzel
5. Harry Potter Magical Places & Characters Coloring Book by Scholastic
6. Tangle Art and Drawing Games for Kids by Jeanette Nyberg
7. Art for Kids: Drawing by Kathryn Temple
8. Draw 50 Animals by Lee J. Ames
9. How to Draw Pets by Barbara Soloff Levy
10. Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals


Top 10 Art Books for Kids:

1. Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake

Art Lab for KidsAges: 8 – 12

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Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake comes in at the #1 spot of the top 10 art books for kids in 2017.

I love that Art Lab encourages kids to explore the depths of their imaginations. There are 52 unique “adventures” within this book, each one a new project using a different artistic medium each time. Paints, paper, collages, and clay galore. Pretty darn nifty, right? Heck, you might be inspired to create art yourself!

The reviews for this guide are outstanding as well….

Art Lab for Kids encourages all ages to be fearless in seeking and nurturing their creativity. With lessons, inspiration, and advice, Susan Schwake gives you the tools to find and explore your artistic side.” – Kathreen Ricketson, found and editor of http://www.whipup.net and http://www.action-pack.com

And that’s just one rave review!

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2. Harry Potter Coloring Book by Scholastic

Harry Potter Coloring Book Ages: 8 – 12

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The Harry Potter Coloring Book by Scholastic is certainly a wow-worthy addition to the best art books for kids in 2017.

Harry Potter is an amazing series; one that millions of kiddos, and adults, have read (or watched) hundreds of thousands of times. This coloring book is for kids seeking to delve into, and color in, the world of wizardry. Your little ‘un will get to color fantastic beasts, the Hogwarts Castle, and Forbidden Forest, as well as classic scenes from the movies, such as the Sorting Hat ceremony. If your kiddo is a Harry Potter fan, this book will provide hours of creative fun. The drawings are simply…magical!

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3. How to Draw People by Barbara Soloff Levy

How to Draw PeopleAges: 5 – 10

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And at third on the list – How to Draw People by Barbara Soloff Levy.

As a childhood artist, I totally know how difficult it is to draw people. Sometimes you start out hoping for a realistic portrait, and wind up with a stick figure. Bummer. This book teaches youngsters how to draw people, using basic shapes as starter points. It even includes blank pages for practice.

The ideal book for your budding artist, your child will learn how to draw people in an easy-to-understand way. It provides an excellent foundation for drawing the human figure so your youngling has a head start in future art classes. What’s not to love??

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4. 13 Art Techniques Children Should Know by Angela Wenzel

13 Art Techniques Children Should KnowAges: 9 – 12

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Also making it to the “best of” art books for kids list in 2017 is 13 Art Techniques Children Should Know by Angela Wenzel.

For true artists-to-be with an appreciation for art throughout histories, this book is a detailed guide to 13 artsy techniques. Kids will explore the skills of legendary artists, like Van Gogh, Matisse, Holbein, da Vinci, and Picasso (to name a few). Awesome, right? This book will undoubtedly inspire your artistic child to create imaginative works of his or her own after learning how the masters did what they did so very well.

Another benefit to our #4 pick? It serves as a history of art! Plenty of artists take art history classes at some point in their lives, so why not give your kiddo a head start? The book starts with cave drawings–that’s right!

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5. Harry Potter Magical Places & Characters Coloring Book by Scholastic

Ages: 8 – 12

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Another among the Harry Potter lineup makes it to the top children’s art books this year with the Magical Places & Characters Coloring Book by Scholastic.

This coloring book focuses on the places and characters, specifically, in the HP series. For instance, kids can put themselves in charge of the interior décor of Hogwarts. Or, they can visit Hagrid in his hut, the Dursley family in their home, or Potter during Quidditch. So cool.

Images are wonderfully-intricate to provide the perfect challenge for your artistic Harry Potter fan.  Your child will absolutely learn how to stay in the lines with this book, and develop a better sense of color. No wonder this book made our list! Enjoy watching your child’s eyes light up when you present this very special coloring book.

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6. Tangle Art and Drawing Games for Kids by Jeanette Nyberg

Tangle Art and Drawing GamesAges: 8 – 12

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Tangle Art and Drawing Games for Kids by Jeanette Nyberg comes in next on our list.

When I was little, my daddy and I would play a game where he would draw a random, nonsense shape. Then I would make a better picture out of it. This game was great for developing both my intellect and artistic abilities. This book does the same with drawing games. Every activity features ideas for “making things silly,” as well as theme variations so the activities can be enjoyed over and over again. There’s basic drawing games, mixed-media activities, options to work on with friends, and much more. You child will improve his or her visual and manual skills with these fantastic games. Awesome.

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7. Art for Kids: Drawing by Kathryn Temple

Art for Kids DrawingAges: 8 and up

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One from Kathryn Temple arrives at #7 of the ten best art books for kids 2017 with Art for Kids: Drawing.

For realistic little artists, this book goes through both basic and advanced drawing techniques. It might begin with simple shapes, light placements, and perspective, but it ends with challenging forms, textures, and true-to-sight landscapes. Kids will learn everything in 112 pages.

The perfect “starter” book for little artists, there’s oodles of great things to learn here. Instructions are easy to follow. Your kiddo will learn how to draw landscapes, people, animals, and soooo much more. Contour drawing techniques are also featured here.

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8. Draw 50 Animals by Lee J. Ames

Draw 50 AnimalsAges: 10 – 13

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Marking the 8th spot among 2017’s top-ranked kids’ art books is Draw 50 Animals by Lee J. Ames.

Drawing people is difficult, but sketching realistic animals is even more challenging. Animals have unique textures, from feathers and furs, to scales and bumps, all with minute details that require extra attention and concentration. This book shows artists many animal-drawing techniques. It’s pretty darn excellent. Animals include tigers, sharks, bunnies, penguins, giraffes, and more.

Instructions are clear and concise….who knows, your kiddo might learn how to draw all kinds of cool critters…and create imaginative variations reminiscent of impressionist artists! It’s ideal for your animal-loving kiddo who loves to draw….this book will keep him or her all kinds of busy for hours!

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9. How to Draw Pets by Barbara Soloff Levy

How to Draw PetsAges: 5 – 10

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Next, at #9 is How to Draw Pets by Barbara Soloff Levy.

Sketching becomes personal when you drawing something you love, like pets. This book is an instructions guide, showing little artists how to draw 30 different pets. Inclusive of potbelly piggies, ponies, lambs, hermit crabs, puppies, cats, parakeets, and sugar gliders (those flying squirrel-like animals). How unbelievably cute is that??

Your child has 30 animals to pick from….How to Draw Pets is a wonderful book for the child who loves art and cuddly pets! Give it with the other animal books on this list as a wonderful gift set.

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10. Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals

Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of AnimalsAges: 6 – 12

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The final pick on this year’s top ten list of children’s art books is Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals.

One more drawing book for kids who love sketching animals! Our final pick features animals that are a bit quirkier with exaggerated shapes, textures, and features. Think cartoony, funny, and packed with both real and mythical animals, like lions, owls, and ferocious dragons.

The perfect book for your little abstract artist, it will encourage their creative visions and probably inspire him or her to create entirely new, otherworldly creatures. Your kid will love it…and so will you!

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This Top 10 Art Books for Kids page was modified to reflect current information on April 9th, 2017.