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Find more Top 10 Arts Books for Youth
From comics to Christo’s work, the art forms celebrated in this year’s roundup of top arts books for youth are as inviting and varied as ever.
Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles into Comics. By James Sturm and others. Illus. by James Sturm. 2009. Roaring Brook/First Second, paper, $12.95 (9781596433694). PreS–Gr. 5.
This collaborative effort from comics maestros combines lessons in the language of sequential art with an exciting graphic adventure.
Bettina Valentino and the Picasso Club. By Niki Daly. Illus. by the author. 2009. Farrar, $16 (9780374307530). Gr. 4–6.
Budding artist Bettina loves her controversial new teacher, who encourages kids to connect with the work of modern masters. Original drawings in the style of famous paintings pair with Bettina’s spunky narration.
Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudí
. By Rachel Rodriguez. Illus. by Julie Paschkis. 2009. Holt, $16.99 (9780805087451). Gr. 1–3.
In this picture-book look at Antoni Gaudí, spare, poetic language combines with vibrantly patterned art that captures the dreamlike quality of the Catalonian architect’s work.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond
. By Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. 2008. illus. Roaring Brook/Flash Point, $19.95 (9781596430716). Gr. 6–9.
Once again, Greenberg and Jordan contribute an exemplary introduction to art with this title about a mesmerizing work that transformed Central Park.
Similar in format to the author’s Frida: Viva la vida! Long Live Life! (2007), this handsome volume introduces artist Diego Rivera with lively verse and incandescent illustrations.
The Fabulous Feud of Gilbert and Sullivan. By Jonah Winter. Illus. by Richard Egielski. 2009. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (9780439930505). K–Gr. 3.
Set in Victorian times, this fanciful picture book follows Gilbert and Sullivan through their contentious creation of The Mikado. Show-stopping illustrations bring the story to life.
I and I: Bob Marley. By Tony Medina. Illus. by Jesse Joshua Watson. 2009. Lee & Low, $19.95 (9781600602573). Gr. 4–8.
One of the best youth titles about legendary reggae musician Marley, this substantive, soulful picture-book biography in verse combines moving poetry with expressive acrylic paintings.
Operation Yes. By Sara Lewis Holmes. 2009. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (9780545107952). Gr. 5–8.
Miss Loupe, a new teacher at a school on a North Carolina military base, wins over her sixth-grade class with improv theater techniques in this heartfelt story about the power of theatrical collaboration and creativity to inspire and heal.
So Punk Rock (and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother). By Micol Ostow. Illus. by David Ostow. 2009. Flux, paper, $9.95 (9780738714714). Gr. 8–12.
Illustrated with arch, comics-style artwork, this ultra-contemporary novel, created by a sister-and-brother team, explores faith and music in the story of a Jewish day school student who forms a punk band.
Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World. By Marilyn Nelson. Illus. by Jerry Pinkney. 2009. Dial, $21.99 (9780803731875). Gr. 5–8.
A Newbery Honor winner and a Caldecott Honor winner team up in this swinging, satisfying tribute to a real-life all-female jazz band from the World War II era.
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