Books to Inspire and Promote Art and Social/Emotional Well Being

Welcome back to school! Children, faculty and parents are all trying to navigate these unusual times. This booklist contains some titles that focus on Social and Emotional Health and Well Being. All of these books lend themselves to integrated activities in all four art forms

 

A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa

by Andrea D’Aquino

Ruth Asawa (1926-2013) was an influential and award-winning sculptor, a beloved figure in the Bay Area art world, and a devoted activist who advocated tirelessly for arts education. This lushly illustrated book by collage artist Andrea D’Aquino brings Asawa’s creative journey to life, detailing the influence of her childhood in a farming family, and her education at Black Mountain College where she pursued an experimental course of education with leading avant-garde artists and thinkers such as Anni and Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, and Robert Rauschenberg. Delightful and substantial, this engaging title for young art lovers includes a page of teaching tools for parents and educators.

 

 

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a
friend…
Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party … until that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.
From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource. Includes backmatter with discussion questions and resources for further reading.

 

 

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It by JoAnn Deak

Learn how much your brain can grow! The perfect introduction to growth mindset, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It is:

• A growth mindset book for kids
• A teacher must-have for classrooms
• The best resource for anyone to teach growth mindset

Did you know you can stretch and grow your own brain? Or that making mistakes is one of the best ways your brain learns? Awarded as one of the best growth mindset books for kids, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It teaches all the ways that the brain can develop with exercise, just like the rest of our bodies.

 

 

Lift by Minh Le

From the award-winning and bestselling creators of Drawn Together comes the fantastic tale of a magical elevator that will lift your spirits–and press all the right buttons!
Iris loves to push the elevator buttons in her apartment building, but when it’s time to share the fun with a new member of the family, she’s pretty put out. That is, until the sudden appearance of a mysterious new button opens up entire realms of possibility, places where she can escape and explore on her own. But when she’s forced to choose between going at it alone or letting her little brother tag along, Iris finds that sharing a discovery with the people you love can be the most wonderful experience of all.
Using their dynamic comics-inspired storytelling, acclaimed author Minh Lê and Caldecott Medal-winning artist Dan Santat carry readers on a journey of ups, downs, and twists and turns that will send hearts–and imaginations–soaring.

 

 

A World of Your Own by Laura Carlin

As Carlin takes readers on a journey through her own colorful, imaginative visual world, she encourages them to look around and create their own worlds based upon their experiences, preferences, and best memories.
Through gentle prompts, she urges children to think about where and how they might like to live. What would their homes look like? What places would they like to visit? “What important thing would you learn in your school?” How can they make their worlds even better?
Combining colors, shapes, forms, graphics, and watercolors, the author inspires readers to think outside the box and discover a world that exists in their own imagination,
urging them to start over as many times as they like and to look to real life for inspiration.

 

 

In My Garden by Charlotte Zolotow

Welcome the outdoors inside for storytime with this classic tale of a garden changing through the seasons.
A young girl and her older companion watch birds, fly a kite, plant flowers, and play in the snow, watching flowers bloom and leaves fall as the year passes.
This quiet story celebrates the simple joys found close to home, and the importance of sharing those experiences with the ones you love. A perfect storytime pick for any season, In My Garden explores the natural marvels of the world around us and encourages young readers to think about what they love best throughout the year.
Written by picture book master Charlotte Zolotow and originally published
in 1960, this elegant reimagining of In My Garden features all-new
illustrations by accomplished author-illustrator Philip Stead. His delicate
illustrations and gentle, colorful palette bring new life and meaning to this
classic tale– a beautiful tribute to the experience of childhood, and a thank you to a master storyteller.

 

 

Look, It’s Raining by Mathieu Pierloot
It’s Sunday, and Camille, having finished her school work, is feeling a little bored. Her parents are busy with their own projects, so she puts on her raincoat and goes outside to play. Suddenly she hears the thunder roar and shivers with excitement. She sticks out her tongue to catch raindrops. They taste like clouds. She notices a group of red ants zigzagging along
a trail and asks “Where are you going?” The ants reply, “We’re going to a show.” Camille embarks on an adventure to discover what the show is about and the astounding beauty to be found by closely observing her surroundings.
Don’t Worry Little Crab by Chris Haughton
From the award-winning creator of Shh! We Have a Plan comes to a vibrantly colorful story about mustering the courage to try something new.
Little Crab and Very Big Crab live in a tiny rock pool near the sea. Today they’re going for a dip in the big ocean. “This is going to be so great,” says Little Crab, splish-splashing and squelch-squelching along, all the way to the very edge. Then comes a first glance down at the waves. WHOOSH! Maybe it’s better if they don’t go in? With vivid colors, bold shapes, and his trademark visual humor, Chris Haughton shows that sometimes a gentle “don’t worry, I’m here” can keep tentative little crabs sidestepping ahead — and help them discover the brilliant worlds that await when they take the plunge.

 

 

The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi

A rollicking, rhyming, and inspirational picture book perfect for fans of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and every child who is frustrated by what they can’t do . . . YET!
Each of us, from the day we’re born, is accompanied by a special companion–the Yet. Can’t tie your shoes? Yet! Can’t ride a bike? Yet! Can’t play the bassoon? Don’t worry, Yet is there to help you out.
The Magical Yet is the perfect tool for parents and educators to turn a negative into a positive when helping children cope with the inevitable difficult learning moments we all face. Whether a child or an adult, this encouraging and uplifting book reminds us that we all have things we haven’t learned…yet!
“In this witty, wise picture book, Boelts presents a kid’s-eye view of a consumer fad that rages through school at gale force.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need,” when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.
Things That Go Away by Beatrice Alemagna
A playful ode to things that come and go in life—and the one special bond
that never fades
There are many things that go away: leaves fall, tears dry, music lasts only for a few moments, and bubbles pop, vanishing without a trace. Everything in life passes, moves on, or transforms—except one thing that never fades.
With her signature warmth, playfulness, and beautiful illustrations, Beatrice Alemagna reminds us that in a changing world, the love between parent and child remains constant.

 

 

Everything You Need For a Treehouse by Carter Higgins

“One magical, impossible treehouse after another.” —The Wall Street
Journal
Treehouses are for wonder.
Treehouses are for snacks.
Treehouses are for whispers and snickers and echoes. Treehouses are for everyone.
This magical work of art from acclaimed picture book creators Carter Higgins and Emily Hughes celebrates the universal wonder of treehouses and all the adventure that live among branches.
Hello Nature: Draw, Color, Make, and Grow by Nina Chakrabarki
A fantastic new nature activity book from Nina Chakrabarti, exploring the exciting natural world around us.
This is your very own nature scrapbook, packed with fascinating facts and brilliant activities. Doodle, draw and color in leaves, butterflies, plants and much more. How many different types of snowflakes are there, and how are leaves formed? Find out how to make your own leaf prints, twig sculptures and minibeast hotels.
With her beautiful, distinctive illustrations, explore the weird and wonderful things you can find all around you – whether you’re out in a park, in your back garden or sitting in your living room at home!

 

 

Hello Nature Activity Cards by Nina Chakrabarki
Can you identify a tree from its seed? How is a frog different from a toad?
And where can you find the Big Dipper?
Explore the natural world around you using these new activity cards based on the book Hello Nature by Nina Chakrabarti. Take them with you while walking in the woods, holidaying on the beach, or just poking around your own back yard.
With thirty fun activities to try, from stone skimming and pond dipping to making feather quill pens and boats from nutshells, there is fun for all the family.

 

 

 

Birds of a Feather – Bowerbirds and Me by Susan L Roth
One makes colorful paper collages; the other, intricate environments out of found objects. And yet Susan L. Roth and the remarkable bowerbird are truly birds of a feather.
Sibert Medalist Susan L. Roth is like a bowerbird, a small black bird found in Australia and New Guinea that builds elaborate structures from various materials they find near their habitats.
Though Susan creates books to attract readers and bowerbirds build bowers to attract a mate, both get their ideas from the world around them and the materials they find. Both love colors. No two of their respective creations are alike. And most importantly, both Susan and the bowerbirds aspire for their finished works to be greater than the sum of their parts.
Complete with engaging backmatter and dazzling artwork crammed full of so much to look at, this visually delightful picture book from award-winning author and artist Susan L. Roth is a fascinating comparison of art we create and art we find in nature.

 

 

 

Creative Collage: 30 projects to transform your collages into wall art, personalized stationery, home accessories, and more by Clare Youngs
Discover how to make creative, personal collages with advice, techniques, and projects from craft author and graphic designer Clare Youngs.
We are all born with an inner desire to express ourselves. Making collages, especially in the form of art journals, gives you an opportunity to express thoughts, feelings, and wishes and to capture memories. It is a way of collating and putting thoughts
in order. You can look back at filled pages with a real sense of
accomplishment. Most of all it is fun! In Creative Collage, Clare
Youngs reveals the secrets of collaging, one of her favorite crafts.
Learn about the kinds of paper you can use, such as maps, tickets,
photographs, typography, and magazine pages, and how to add
texture, use layering, and make use of geometric designs. Some
of Clare’s amazing collages are included for inspiration, and she
explains how she chose the materials and composition for each
one. Clare then presents a collection of projects that offer unique ways to display your collages and even make 3-D collages, such as a decoupaged chest of drawers and a family photo wooden block house. Along with helpful prompts to give you ideas for collages, such as “something you saw on a walk” or “a happy memory,” this book provides all you need to get started with this personal, expressive craft.

 

 

This blog post was written by Trish Saccomano, lead PDP for the University of Utah.  She assists over 30 BTS Arts Educators and always brings a smile along with great suggestions and ideas.  Trish also teaches in the Department of Family and Consumer Studies.  

 

Share this:

Like this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign up to get important news and updates from BTSALP delivered to your inbox. Foster your students' learning with resources for workshops, events and projects.
%d bloggers like this: