ART & MUSIC: Our Favorite Picture Book Read-alouds

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I read dozens of picture books every month with my three children (12, 10, 8). This list includes the very best of the picture books related to art and music that we have read together. While all of the books below are wonderful, I have starred (*) those books that were special favorites of all four of us. These starred books were picture books we checked out again and again from the library, or eventually purchased for ourselves, and are not to be missed. We hope you enjoy all of these books as much as we have!

This list is continually updated (newest books at the top of each section). 

Picture Books about Art and Artists
While I am reading aloud a textier book about an artist, I often let my children browse large volumes of the artist's artwork checked out from the library (from adult section, not children's). I always preview artwork first to make sure I am comfortable with content, and so I am prepared for my kids' reactions and questions. 

Georgia O'Keeffe
These were all excellent and different enough that you could really read them all. We read one or two a week for over a month. The last three listed are more comprehensive biographies, so space those out a bit. We read one at the beginning, one at the end, and one in the middle.


  • Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez (Art for Children)
  • La Princesa y el Pintor
  • Diego Velázquez by Mike Venezia


  • Cezanne by Mike Venezia
  • Paul Cezanne (Life and Work Of...) by Sean Connolly, Paul Connolly
  • Cezanne's Parrot

Leonardo da Vinci







    Miscellaneous Artists
    These are books we enjoyed about individual artists without doing a full-blown artist study.
    • The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art 
    • Libba
    • Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
    • Through the Window: Views of Marc Chagall's Life and Art
    • Durer (Art for Children)

    Picture books about creativity and artistic expression

    Picture Books about Music and Musicians






    Miscellaneous Composers and Musicians
    These are books we enjoyed about individual composers and musicians without doing a full-blown composer study.
    • Nina by Traci Todd, Christian Robinson (about jazz singer and pianist Nina Simone)
    • Dark Was the Night (about Blind Willie Johnson)
    • Song in a Rainstorm (about Thomas Wiggins)
    • Before There Was Mozart (about musician and composer Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George)


    Picture books that illustrate a song 


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