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!

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