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Find more Top 10 Arts Books for Youth
The 10 best arts books for youth, all reviewed in Booklist between November 1, 2012, and October 15, 2013, run the gamut from an animal-themed DIY guide to a head-banging battle of the bands to a riot-inducing ballet.
Brush of the Gods. By Lenore Look. Illus. by Meilo So. 2013. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (9780375870019). K–Gr. 3.
Wu Daozi is an artist with magic in his brush. As a boy in the late seventh century, Daozi was taught calligraphy, but instead of letters, worms and horsetails fall from the bristles.
Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People. By Susan Goldman Rubin. 2013. illus. Abrams, $21.95 (9780810984110). Gr. 6–10.
With engaging prose that is beautifully illustrated with Rivera’s paintings and murals, this spacious volume introduces the great Mexican artist to young people.
Get into Art! Animals: Enjoy Great Art—Then Create Your Own! By Susie Brooks. Illus. by the author. 2013. Kingfisher, $12.99 (9780753470589). Gr. 3–6.
Brooks presents 13 animal-themed masterpieces, each of which occupies its own two-page spread and is accompanied by a project offering a hands-on approach to art techniques.
Henri’s Scissors. By Jeanette Winter. Illus. by the author. 2013. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, $16.99 (9781442464841). K–Gr. 3.
Winter offers an elegant, accessible portrait of Matisse as an old man when, unable to paint, he begins cutting shapes from paper and dives into the art of collage.
The Lucy Variations. By Sara Zarr. 2013. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316205016). Gr. 9–12.
Lucy Beck-Moreau’s childhood as a renowned concert pianist is at the heart of this mellifluous novel about rekindling joy—in music, in the everyday, and in the beauty around us.
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin. By Jen Bryant. Illus. by Melissa Sweet. 2013. Knopf, $17.99 (9780375867125). Gr. 1–4.
Bryant’s accessible text is full of memorable details, like Horace Pippin’s first box of colored pencils, and Sweet’s mixed-media illustrations have a refreshing brilliance all their own.
Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! A Sonic Adventure. By Wynton Marsalis. Illus. by Paul Rogers. 2012. Candlewick, $15.99 (9780763639914). PreS–Gr. 2.
Warm up those vocal chops and get ready for the swingingest read-aloud of the year, an inventive and inspiring ode to the melodies and rhythms of everyday life.
This Song Will Save Your Life. By Leila Sales. 2013. Farrar, $17.99 (9780374351380). Gr. 7–10.
While wandering the streets one night, directionless Elise comes across a jumping warehouse party. There, she meets Char, who tutors her in the art of deejaying. It turns out that Elise is a natural.
When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky: Two Artists, Their Ballet, and One Extraordinary Riot. By Lauren Stringer. Illus. by the author. 2013. Harcourt, $16.99 (9780547907253). Gr. 2–4.
This picture-book biography excels by bringing the words and art together in such an invigorating mix that readers may want to seek out Stravinsky’s music for themselves.
Wise Young Fool. By Sean Beaudoin. 2013. Little, Brown, $18 (9780316203791). Gr. 9–12.
Smash your Stratocaster, pop the devil horns, and bite the head off a bat—this headbanger is so right-on with passion and detail that you’ll be smelling the garage-band funk and feeling the bass rattle your teeth.
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