Using Children’s Books for Inspiration

100 Best Children's BooksSpring means we’re heading into the homestretch of another school year! Sometimes we all need a shot of inspiration to make it from Spring Break to that long-awaited Last Day of School.  Finding a new lesson plan on a favorite blog or Pinterest page is always inspiring, but don’t forget that you can create wonderful art lessons of your own, as well.  Children’s books, with their colorful artwork and time-honored messages, can give you just the inspiration you need to design a lesson that appeals to your own students’ interests and needs, and complements your curriculum.

Let these lists from the Children’s Books Guide be your inspiration!  Here you can search their Top 100 Children’s Books of All Time, 100 Most Inspiring Children’s Books, Caldecott Medal Award Winners, Great Children’s Books on Nature and the Environment, and more.  You can also search by Author, Title, Social Issues and Behavior, and by some Subjects. Although I found their search feature to be somewhat limited, the lists alone are worth scrolling through. I was delighted to find most of my favorites here, along with a short synopsis and cover photo for each one.

My next post will show you how I take a beloved children’s book and turn it into a successful art lesson…. and YOU can, too!!


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4 Responses to Using Children’s Books for Inspiration

  1. Art on my hands March 23, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    I was pleased to scroll the list and find I had a great many of the books in my collection. It was great to see the synopsis for some of the book titles that recently drew my attention. It is always disappointing to receive a book and find it was not quite what you were expecting and since I order many of my books on-line, this does happen occasionally. I just ordered “Andrew Drew and Drew” by Barney Salzberg and am anxious to sit down with it and decide how to use it in class. I have read the book, though it was cute and am a big fan of Salzberg. I’m thinking I will sit down and review my books to determine which ones I actually do use as I teach my classes and create a list of my own. Thanks for directing everyone to these sites.

    • Cheryl Trowbridge March 23, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      I find the synopsis really helpful, too. I’m not familiar with “Andrew Drew and Drew”… I’ll have to check it out!

  2. christine March 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    I love using childrens’ books for art lesson inspiration. I also feel like creating one’s own lessons is important too. It seems like so many ideas these days come from Pinterest. Im worried our student’s are going to forget how to come up with their own ideas if we are always looking to the internet for ideas.
    I have just finished a number of book-based lessons with kindergarten using Leo Leonni’s A Color All His Own, Mouse Paint, all of Eric Carle’s books illustrated with painted paper collage, Marcus Pfister’s Rainbow Fish, and even Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. If anyone is interested in how we used these check out our artwork on

    • Cheryl Trowbridge March 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

      Christine, those are great books to build lessons from! I’d love to see your students’ work on Artsonia! Can you post the link to your specific Artsonia page? The one in your comment just goes to their home page. Thanks!