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Awesome Art Books From Summer Camp
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Awesome Art Books From Summer Camp

I was supposed to write this post three weeks ago, this is late, even for me. It was supposed to be written straight after Summer camp, it was meant to be the cherry on my summer camp cupcake but I overestimated myself,  just a little, once again.

After working very physical eleven hour days for six months (hey, those kids needed someone to laugh at during football/soccer/basketball/freeze tag games), being exposed to a higher than normal decibel rate 24/7, and still managing to behave like a vaguely functional mom, my body decided it needed a break. Unfortunately, it couldn’t take one straight away; first there was the packing-up-after-camp period, then there was the pack-for-New-York period, which made me sob a little. New York itself was a delight, but it also involved a lot of walking and climbing, I started to wear a glazed expression and fit in perfectly with the New Yorkers.
Last Tuesday, my kids went back to school and I finally crashed. It was a BIG crash that lasted a few days, followed by a few days of frenzied, nervous organizing of my house/workspace; I call it Back to Work nesting, but I’m back now!!! I am very excited to share some of the awesome books that I used during my summer camp with you. There are way too many books, websites, and bits and bobs that I referenced during my camps, so I’m narrowing the list down to a choice few, a very tough thing to do but here goes:

How to Talk To Children About Art – Francoise Barbe-Gall
Very useful little book full of interesting facts and starting points for conversations about well known works of art.

Picture This – Molly Bang
My favorite book for teaching kids about illustration, and visual language (color, shape, space, movement etc). 

Harvesting Dreams – Hundertwasser for Kids – Barbara Stieff
A wonderful guide to the Artist, that makes his personality pop off the page, and makes him so easy for kids to relate to. Also contains the word poo, which is always a bonus with 4th graders.

A Kidds Guide To Graphic Design – Chip Kidd
A great introduction to graphic design, and the role design plays in our every day lives.
Amazing website full of activities, ideas and lesson plans about Keith Haring.

Alexander Calder -Patricia Geis
Full of flaps, tabs and other interactive elements, this would be a really good gift. I used it to talk about using found objects to make art. Also, Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams, is a great story book about making toys out of found objects.

Dreamtime: Aboriginal stories – Oodgeroo-Bancroft
This book has big, colorful illustrations, that go with it’s stories. A local library find!

Children’s Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters – Dorling Kindersley
Enough said really, Dorling Kindersley makes great guides, I’m still reading this one.

Fabulous Monsters – Marcia Williams
This book’s comic strip style was very popular with students who were not avid readers, they loved it.

The Ocean of Story – Ness, Mair
There is a great version of the Princess and the Pea from India in here.
Noga Ravin is a designer that the kids loved looking at, her shadow puppets are amazing. This is her website.

A Mango Shaped Space – Wendy Mass
I love this book. The main character has synesthesia, a condition that Wassily Kandinsky may have had. It leads to conversations about the connections between the senses, and multi-sensory art.

Lois Lowry – Number The Stars
The Bauhaus project led to a discussion about world war two, and the flight of many artists from Germany due to persecution. My daughter brought this book in, it is suitable for third graders to read, and is beautiful.

Okay, I don’t think the list should get any longer, I’ll save some for later. Happy reading!

About Author

Artist, Educator, Parent, Small Business Owner, Big kid from a big city, in a small town.

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