3 Dynamic Books to Use in the Art Room

Do you use books in your art room? If so, I have three great new books you might want to check out for your next lesson: The Pencil, by Allan Ahlberg, Art by Patrick McDonnell and I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont. All three books deal with the art making process and are extremely engaging for kids. Check out the video to learn more and see a project idea for each one. (I feel like I’m on Reading Rainbow!)


Tell us about your favorite art book and a simple project that goes along with it. 


6 years ago

Amanda Heyn

Amanda is the Senior Editor at AOE. She has a background in teaching elementary art and enjoys working to bring the best ideas from the world of art ed to the magazine each day. 


  • Hi Amanda,
    Thanks for your great post and video! It was great! You have shared some great ideas and I will keep them in mind if/when I teach art during my Supply Teaching this year!
    Take Care,

    • Hi Karen, 

      I’m glad you liked the books. :) I’m curious…what is Supply Teaching? 

  • I personally had never read The Pencil or Art before, so I am anxious to check them out. I have no clue how I’ve missed such relevant books such as these. Aint Gonna Paint No More is one of my favorites. It’s also a great choice to read when you are introducing the rules of painting to your kindergarten students for the first time, as a silly non- example :) 

    • That would be a great example of what not to do. Have you ever had students paint themselves? I once had two little girls who thought it would be fun to paint on each others’ FACES. Oh kindergartners…the things they come up with. 

  • This is awesome Amanda!! I want to purchase all of these: ) thanks for sharing!!

    • I hope you get to! They are such great books! :)

  • Tbrenno

    I am in the process of writing a grant for books for my art room so I was very excited to learn about these 3. I’m definitly going to add them to my list. What are some favorites that I should include?

  • Tbrenno

    I’m in the process of writing a grant for some books so I was very excited to learn about these 3. What are some favorites that I should add to my list?

    •  Hi Tbrenno-

      I would definitely include “The Dot” and “Ish” by Peter Reynolds. “Iggy Peck Architect” by Andrea Beaty is another fun one. Good luck with the grant!

  • Ongoingly

    Really GREAT suggestions for books and the activities are perfect. I am a huge fan of using books in my art studio. These will be wonderful additions to my collection. Thanks.

  • Juliagthomas

    I went to Amazon to order the books, hoping they were cheap. I’m trying to cut my cost for art materials and the library does not carry these books as I checked there first. The prices for Art, by Patrick McDonnell was $46 used and The Pencil, $21. Oh well. 

    Liked the art lesson ideas though. 

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  • Mindy Hiatt

    I love the book My Name Is Georgia: A Portrait by Jeanette Winter. It is wonderful and helps the students make great inferences and connections. After we read the book the students can not wait to make a painting like Georgia! We paint flowers in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe and I never hear the boys complain about painting flowers as long as we read the book before I introduce the project. I teach the students about analogouse and complimentary and drawing from life during the project.

    • Thanks for sharing your book and lesson, Mindy! It’s so true about the boys- once they learn that Georgia painted bones, they’re ready to learn more! 

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