Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Art Storytimes to Inspire your Little Artists

When you start off a day with a post about Frida Kahlo, you’re going to have art on your mind for the rest of the day. At least that’s how I’m wired. So I dove into my TBR and came up with a handful of art books to inspire your little ones.

Hide-and-Seek with Little Hippo, by Géraldine Elschner/Illustrated by Anja Klauss,
(Feb. 2021, Schiffer Kids), $8.99, ISBN: 9780764361111
Ages 0-6

This is a board book in one of Schiffer Kids’s new series, First Steps in Art. Inspired by a different work of art, each of these books weaves a little adventure, with concepts and an explanation of the piece that inspired the book. It’s such a great idea! Hide-and-Seek with Little Hippo is inspired by an ancient Egyptian figurine (pictured on the back cover); the story is a counting, color concept story about Little Hippo, who loves playing hide-amd-seek with his friend, Butterfly.  The story is colorful, bright, and so cheery and a brief explanation of Little Hippo’s origins at the end provides a nice little art history lesson for emerging readers. Pair the First Steps in Art books with Schiffer’s Lily series for an art storytime your little will love.



Antoinette the Tree Frog, by Géraldine Elschner, Illustrated by Xavière Devos,
(Feb. 2021, Schiffer Kids), $8.99, ISBN: 9780764361104
Ages 0-6

The next First Steps in Art book is all about impressionism: Antoinette the Tree Frog is inspired by Claude Monet’s beautiful water lilies. Little Antoinette is a tree frog, happily napping on a water lily as Mr. Claude paints nearby. A gust of winds blows his straw hat away, and a magpie tries to grab it, until Antoinette makes a fuss! When the magpie drops the hat, Antoinette discovers a comfortable new place to nap. A word about Claude Monet’s garden concludes the story. The artwork is soft, gentle, with Monet’s Impressionist influences apparent in the light color work and pastoral setting. Monet makes a cameo in this story, a painter sitting on a stool by the water, his watercolor canvas featuring his beloved water lilies. A very sweet story for young and emerging readers. I’m looking forward to seeing what other stories we’ll get from this series! Can you imagine a Halloween story from Edvard Munch? A story featuring Andy Warhol, or Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art?


A Purr-Fect Painting: Matisse’s Other Great Cat, by Joan Waites,
(May 2021, Schiffer Kids), $16.99, ISBN: 9780764361128
Ages 5-8

Inspired by artist Henri Matisse’s cats and the illness that spurred his paper-cut art, A Purr-Fect Painting: Matisse’s Other Cat is an adorable story of La Puce, one of Mattise’s three cats. La Puce seems to be the most artistically-minded of Matisse’s cats; he’s the feline that sits with Matisse, watching him create art, while Minouche and Coussi sleep in the sunlight or get in trouble. When Matisse falls ill and is confined to his bed, La Puce thinks of ways to inspire his master to create art again. Henri may not be able to pick up his paintbrushes, but when La Puce makes a mess, Matisse sees potential in the brightly colored splashes of paint that go flying: and calls to his assistants to bring him painted sheets of paper and scissors! A colorful, kind-hearted story about love and art, A Purr-Fect Painting is an adorable readaloud for budding artists and cat lovers alike.


Need more inspiration? Here are more books inspired by art!


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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